Small business owners continue to struggle to find workers, with 45 percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reporting job openings they could not fill in the current period, according to a recent jobs report by NFIB. The share of owners with unfilled job openings exceeds the 49-year historical average of 23 percent. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 92 percent of owners reported few or no qualified applications for the positions they were trying to fill.

“The labor market continues to be a big challenge for small business owners,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “More owners are raising compensation to compete, but labor quality remains a serious problem for owners.”

Overall, 60 percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in April. Twenty-nine percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 26 percent reported none.

The percent of small business owners reporting labor quality as their top small business operating problem remains elevated at 24 percent, up one point from March. Labor costs reported as the single most important problem to business owners decreased two points to 9 percent, just four points below the highest reading of 13 percent reached in December 2021.

Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 17 percent planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up two points from March but 15 points below its record high reading of 32 reached in August 2021.

Click here to read the full report from NFIB titled Small Businesses Have Record High Levels of Job Openings.  

NFIB is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan and member-driven.