Oklahoma Small Business Owners Report Record Levels of Job Openings
NFIB, Oklahoma’s leading small business advocate, the National Federation of Independent Business, is optimistic about the future of our vital small business owners here in Oklahoma because of two recent actions by Governor Kevin Stitt. Thanks to his leadership, the barriers to getting people back to work have been shut down.
Governor Stitt listened to small business owners and ended participation in the federal supplemental unemployment benefit program. The federal money provides an additional $300 a week in benefits through September Instead, the benefits will end June 26th. Both are programs that are hurting our small business owners across the state as they face a record level of open jobs that they can’t find qualified workers to fill. Governor Stitt also announced a new Return to Work Incentive for Oklahomans on unemployment.
It’s a promising initiative for small business owners that can’t find enough workers to fill open job positions. NFIB recently released their new jobs report that shows a record 44% of small business owners report having job openings they could not fill, 22 points higher than the 48-year historical average, and two points higher than the 42% figure from March. April is the third consecutive month with a record-high reading of unfilled job openings among small businesses.
The governor’s new Return to Work Initiative will allow the first 20,000 Oklahomans receiving unemployment benefits who return to the workforce to receive $1,200 from the federal American Rescue Plan funds.
“Small business owners could not be more thrilled with what the governor has done this week,” said Jerrod Shouse, NFIB State Director in Oklahoma. “Small business owners just can’t hire workers. The federal unemployment benefits give them a reason to stay at home and not re-enter the workforce. A record number of our small business owners say they can’t find qualified workers to fill jobs. The actions by the governor will help our economy get back on track as we recover from the pandemic.”