Small Business Labor Struggles

Shortages of workers top inflation as a major problem for small businesses

survey of small business owners shows more than half of small businesses have unfilled job openings.

The NFIB’s monthly jobs report found that the labor shortage continues to be a challenge for small businesses, with 51% reporting job openings they could not fill during May, up four points from April and matching a 48-year record high set in September. Twenty-three percent of owners reported labor quality was their top business problem, second to inflation. Twelve percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem.

Two-thirds of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in May, and 92% percent of those owners hiring reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. 

Meanwhile, 49% of owners reported raising compensation in May, up three points from April and one point below the 48-year record high set in January. Twenty-five percent of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months. 

Twenty-six percent said they are also planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up six points from April and close to a 48-year record high.

Small Business Hiring Plans 2010-2022
Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.