Owners continue to raise compensation, add new positions in June
Washington, D.C. (July 4, 2019) – June marks the 19th month of consecutive employment growth, with small businesses adding an average of 0.21 workers per firm, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, released today. Twelve percent of owners reported increasing employment an average of 4.3 workers per firm, and seven percent reported reducing employment an average of 4.6 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted).
“At a time when owners are continuing to struggle to find workers, they’re doing everything they can to recruit them, including raising wages,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “The demand for workers is showing no signs of abating, evidence that tax cuts and deregulation lead to job creation, so it is important lawmakers stay away from policies that could stifle this historic growth.”
Down four points from last month, 58 percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, but 86 percent of those trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-one percent of all owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem. This shortage of workers is slowing growth. Specifically, 39 percent of owners in transportation cited it as their No. 1 problem, and 37 percent of owners in construction said the same.
Thirty-one percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 19 percent of owners reported none. Reports of “few or no qualified” applicants were high in construction at 57 percent and manufacturing at 55 percent. Down two points from May, 36 percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. In construction, 49 percent had openings and 90 percent were for skilled workers. Sixty-nine percent of owners in transportation had job openings with 87 percent of them for skilled workers.
However, a seasonally-adjusted net 19 percent plan to create new jobs. Not seasonally adjusted, 23 percent plan to increase total employment at their firm and three percent plan reductions. In construction, 32 percent plan to increase their employment and only five percent plan reductions. In transportation, 61 percent plan to increase employment and four percent plan reductions.
“Small business owners have been reporting raising worker compensation, wages, and benefits, at historically near-record percentages for more than a year,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The economy is showing wage gains and small business has been leading the way. The current labor shortage is the biggest issue facing the small business economy.”
Twenty-eight percent of small business owners reported raising compensation in their firms, down six points from last month but a historically strong reading.