Another record high in unfulfilled job openings is not a welcomed statistic
BOISE, Idaho, May 6, 2021—Another record high. That is the latest finding in NFIB’s Jobs Report released today. But it’s not a record small-business owners would like to see topped.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) releases the results from its latest Jobs Report the first Thursday of every month. April’s scan revealed 44% of small-business owners still having job openings they could not fill. This number was 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 Jobs Report is released the first Thursday of every month and is a national sample not broken down by state.
“I’m not surprised by these numbers,” said Suzanne Budge. “Finding qualified employees is a common lament I hear from our Idaho members. The reasons for the difficulty vary from that extra $300 the federal government gives on top of state unemployment benefits, which makes staying home more attractive than going to work, to fear of catching the virus. When you have some radio shows offering small-business owners free airtime to describe the jobs they have available, that pretty much encapsulates the problem.
“Businesses are responding by reducing hours, moving to labor-saving devices that don’t require a human, or shutting down completely. Even though Idaho has the sixth lowest unemployment rate, there are still plenty of good-paying jobs available. We’re not alone, this is a national problem. Earlier this week Montana’s governor announced initiatives to prod people off of their couches and back into work.”
From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg
“The tight labor market is the biggest concern for small businesses who are competing with various factors such as supplemental unemployment benefits, childcare and in-person school restrictions, and the virus. Many small business owners who are trying to hire are finding themselves unsuccessful and are having to delay the hiring or offer higher wages. Some owners are offering ‘show up’ bonuses for workers who agree to take the job and actually show up for work.”
The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The survey was conducted in April 2021 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.
Keep up with the latest on Idaho small business at www.nfib.com/idaho.
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 its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
National Federation of Independent Business/Idaho
802 W. Bannock, Ste. 301
Boise, ID 83702