Grappling with a shortage of workers continues to be a top issue for small business owners, with over a fifth, or 22% of those surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) saying it is the single most important problem in business.
Over half, or 64% reported hiring or trying to hire in September, up one percentage point from August. However, 89% of those owners hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for their open positions, with 30% reporting none had applied.
Forty-six percent of all business owners reported job openings they could not fill in September, down three points from August. The number of unfilled job openings far exceeded the 48-year historical average of 23%. Many small businesses are also looking to add more jobs in the near future, with 23% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up two points from August.
Close to half, or 45% of business owners reported raising compensation, down one point from August and five points below the 48-year record high set in January. A net 23% also plan to raise compensation in the next three months.