Local Comment on Today’s National Jobs Report

Date: August 03, 2023

Washington state exacerbating an intractable situation for small business owners

Contact: Patrick Connor, Washington State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

OLYMPIA, Wash., Aug. 3, 2023—The Inability to fill job openings and find qualified workers continue to bedevil small-business owners across the nation, according to today’s release of NFIB’s monthly Jobs Report, and Washington state is not making things easier for the Main Street enterprises here.

“While Main Street continues to suffer both in Washington state and nationally, decisions by Gov. Jay Inslee, the State Legislature, and the big business organizations cozying up to them, continue to take dollars away from workers and small business owners alike,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

“One needs only look at the new WA Cares and paid medical and family leave payroll taxes. Perhaps worse yet, the governor’s carbon taxes are adding more than 50 cents per gallon to gasoline and diesel, further shrinking worker take-home pay and increasing small business operating costs. Meanwhile, our state’s big businesses have managed to carve out exemptions and other special treatment, allowing them to absorb the added operating costs, while small business and Washington’s workers are left to pick up the tab.”

Highlights from today’s Jobs Report include:

  • 42% of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill
  • 23% reported labor quality as their top small business operating problem
  • 10% reported labor costs as the single most important problem

From NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg

“The small business economy continues to struggle with the current job market, with owners working hard to fill open positions. Hiring plans are trending down but are still historically strong in the face of a weakening economy.”

Released on the first Thursday of every month, NFIB’s Jobs Report is one of the 10 components of the association’s Small Business Economic Trends report (aka the Optimism Index), which is released the second Tuesday of every month. The SBET/Optimism Index is considered by federal and state policymakers to be the bellwether measurement of America’s Main Street economy. The typical NFIB member employs 5-9 people and reports gross sales of about $500,000 a year.

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 80 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.

NFIB Washington
111 – 21st Avenue Southwest
Olympia, WA 98501
Twitter: @NFIB_WA


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