Employment and wage numbers remain strong, according to the NFIB Jobs Report
Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2018) – Small businesses continue to demonstrate strong economic growth, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s monthly Jobs Report, released today. Fifty-seven percent of small business respondents indicated they are hiring or planning to hire, up four points from March. A net 33 percent of small business owners also report higher worker compensation, on par with the previous month and the highest reading since 2000.
“This month’s jobs report reinforces small business owners’ optimism about the economy. They are hiring, and compensation is up,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “In previous years, small businesses were most concerned about taxes and regulations on their businesses, now they are setting plans to grow, and they want to find workers to fill these jobs.”
While 57 percent of small businesses are hiring or planning to hire, a large majority (88 percent) of them reported difficulties finding qualified candidates. Twenty-two percent of all small business owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up one point from March), exceeding the percentages citing taxes and regulations.
Owners reporting job openings they could not fill in the current period remained at 35 percent. Twelve percent reported using temporary workers, up two points from the previous month. Job openings were the most frequent in construction and manufacturing, both at 48 percent.
“The shortage of qualified workers is clearly holding back even stronger economic growth,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The high demand has real impacts. In some industries, nearly half of the firms have unfilled openings. It’s especially severe in construction and manufacturing.”