Jobs Report

NFIB Small Business Jobs Report

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 August 2018 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.

Small Business Owners’ Plans to Create New Jobs Hit 45-year High

A record number of small business owners cite finding qualified workers as their single most important problem

NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s August 2018 Jobs Report:

Bill "Dunk" Dunkelberg
NFIB Chief Economist
William Dunkelberg

Small business plans to create new jobs and job openings hit a 45-year high in August, but owners still struggled to fill their open positions, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, released today. After posting significant gains in filling open positions in July, it slowed slightly in August, perhaps due to fewer qualified applicants.

Hiring plans remain exceptionally strong with a seasonally-adjusted net 26 percent of owners planning to create new jobs, up three points from July and hitting a new survey high.

“The August jobs report shows, once again, that small businesses are hiring, raising wages, and expanding the workforce, which ultimately benefits the economy,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “Small business is booming in this country and the need for workers is critical.”

Sixty-two percent of owners reported trying to hire, up three points from last month, with 89 percent of those owners reporting few or no qualified applications for their open positions.

A survey high of 38 percent of owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. The most frequent job openings are in construction (62 percent), manufacturing (47 percent), and wholesale trades (45 percent).

A record 25 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem, up two points from last month.

“The real strength in hiring comes from the industries where wages are above average—construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trades,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Filling those job openings would boost the level of output for the economy.”

A net 32 percent of owners reported higher worker compensation, remaining unchanged from July but only three points below May’s record reading. A net 21 percent report plans to raise compensation.

Click here to view the entire NFIB Jobs Report.

The full Small Business Economic Trends report will be released on Tuesday, September 11th

Contact Maggie Hall:
202-314-2073

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