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 November 2022 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.

NFIB Jobs Report: Labor Quality Continues to Be a Top Business Issue on Main Street

NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s November 2022 Jobs Report

Bill "Dunk" Dunkelberg
NFIB Chief Economist
William Dunkelberg

Small businesses reporting labor quality as their top small business operating problem remains elevated at 21%, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Nine percent of owners reported labor cost as their single most important problem, down one point from October.

“The small business economy is recovering, but owners continue to face ongoing labor troubles throughout the country,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Employment plans remain historically strong with 18% of owners planning to hire and create new jobs in the coming months, historically high but the lowest reading since February 2021.”

Forty-four percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down two points from October. The share of owners with unfilled job openings far exceeds the 49-year historical average of 23%. The November reading is the lowest level since April 2021.

Small business owners’ plans to increase their number of employees remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 18% planning to create new jobs in the next three months. However, November’s reading was the lowest level since February 2021.

Overall, 59% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in November, down two points from October. Ninety-two percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirty-one percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 23% reported none.

Seasonally adjusted, a net 40% of owners reported raising compensation, down four points from October. A net 28% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months.

Thirty-seven percent of owners have openings for skilled workers and 16% have openings for unskilled labor.

Plans and intentions remain strong, but execution is still not living up to them, with more firms reporting a reduction in employment. Eleven percent of owners reported employment gains in the recent months, but 15% reported declines.

Click here to view the entire NFIB Jobs Report

The full Small Business Economic Trends report will be released on Tuesday, December 13th.

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