Small Business Hiring Remains Steady in January

Date: February 04, 2021

Over half of small employers reported hiring or trying to hire

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 4, 2021) – According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 51% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January. Small employers have plans to fill open positions, with a net 17% (seasonally adjusted) planning to create new jobs in the next three months.

“Small business owners are working hard on their road to recovery, but some industries are still constricted by state and local mandates,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The success of the recovery will depend on if the economy is open and consumers return.”

Small businesses increased employment in January by 0.36 workers per firm on average over the past few months, up from 0.30 in December, a very strong 2 month performance.

Seasonally adjusted, 33% of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up one point from December. Twenty-eight percent of owners have openings for skilled workers and 12% have openings for unskilled labor.

Finding qualified labor remains a problem for small business owners. Ninety percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no “qualified” applicants for the positions they were trying to fill in January, down two points from December. Twenty-six percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 20% reported none.

A net 25% (seasonally adjusted) of owners reported raising compensation and a net 17% plan to do so in the coming months. Seven percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem, unchanged from December.

In the construction sector, 44% of the job openings are for skilled workers, up three points. Fifty-six percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants and 32% cited the shortage of qualified labor as their top business problem.

Click here to view the full report.

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