Michigan small business owners unable to fill job openings
The state’s leading Small Business advocate, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) applauded action by the State Senate this afternoon with their passage of HB 4434, passed by the House last week, which would end participation in the federal supplemental unemployment benefit program that provides an additional $300 a week in benefits through September 4th of this year.
“For the first time in 15 months small businesses in Michigan were finally able to fully reopen without government restrictions. Unfortunately, they are now facing another crisis that prevents them from being full reopen – a lack of workers. We are thankful to the House and Senate for their leadership in passing HB 4434. This legislation is one step to help solve this increasingly desperate situation for Michigan’s small businesses as they work to recover from the pandemic,“ said NFIB Michigan State Director Charlie Owens.
The organization referenced their new jobs report from May that show a record-high of 48% of small business owners reported unfilled job openings (seasonally adjusted). May is the fourth consecutive month of record-high readings for unfilled job openings and is 26 points higher than the 48-year historical reading of 22 percent. NFIB suggested that Michigan’s numbers are probably worse given the longer period of shutdowns and restrictions than the rest of the country.
Owens said that small business owners have continued to share their frustrations to their individual legislators and in several legislative committee meetings. Understanding the challenges caused by the additional federal benefit, NFIB and others have advocated using federal stimulus money for “return to work” incentives in order to make it easier for those who are unemployed to transition back to the workforce.
“Michigan’s small business and job providers cannot withstand another summer without workers to prepare for an expected surge in tourist season activity. Now is the time to move from government dependency to opportunity for Michigan’s families and workers and move Michigan back to employment and economic revival from our long struggle with this pandemic.”