While Legislature fiddles, the executive branch still has no plan to fully re-open businesses
OLYMPIA, Wash., March 4, 2021—From Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), on the release today of NFIB’s monthly Jobs Report finding that 56% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in February, up 5 points from January and that a net 18% of owners reported they are planning to create new jobs in the next three months.
“The improving jobs outlook in the rest of the country highlights the fact that nearly a year after Gov. Jay Inslee’s initial proclamation shutting down much of our state’s economy, he still has no plan for allowing Washington small businesses to fully reopen, bring their employees back to work, or add new positions. Worse yet, we are now halfway through the regular session, and the Legislature’s approach is to debate bills that would make it more costly and cumbersome for Washington employers to do business, if and when the governor ever stumbles upon a plan for Phase 3 re-opening or beyond.”
From NFIB’s National News Release
- “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the labor market, especially when some parts of Main Street are still closed or restricted due to state and local mandates,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “It is important that elected officials keep their attention on the small business economic recovery and ensure those small businesses are getting the help they need.”
- Small businesses increased employment by 0.34 workers per firm on average over the past few months, following good readings in December and January. Forty percent of owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 7 points from last month.
- Thirty-three percent of businesses have openings for skilled workers (up 5 points) and 16% have openings for unskilled labor (up 4 points).
Keep up with the latest Washington state small-business news at www.nfib.com/washington or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_WA or on Facebook @NFIB.WA
For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
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