Job vacancies top small business woes

Cris Collingwood//March 10, 2023

Job vacancies top small business woes

Cris Collingwood//March 10, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

The monthly jobs report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shows 47% of small business owners report openings they can’t fill in the current period.  

Although state-specific data is unavailable, NFIB State Director Greg Moreland highlighted how burdensome mandates from Harrisburg will only exacerbate the labor challenges small business owners face.  

“This report underscores the need for solutions that support our local job creators – not burdensome mandates that make it harder for small businesses to keep their doors open. Amid escalating prices, a low workforce participation rate, and recession fears, small business owners are asking lawmakers to do no harm, and to work together on a pro-growth agenda that would promote greater economic opportunity for Pennsylvania.”  

The percentage of small business owners reporting labor quality as their top small business operating problem remains elevated at 21%, down three points from January.  

 Labor cost reported as the single most important problem to business owners increased two points to 12%, down one point below the highest reading of 13% reached in December 2021.  

A seasonally adjusted net 17% of owners are planning to create new jobs in the next three months, down two points from January and 15 points below its record high reading of 32 reached in August 2021, showing that the trend in planned hiring is on the decline.  

Sixty percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January, up three points from January. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 90% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirty percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions.  

Seasonally adjusted, a net 46% of owners reported raising compensation, unchanged from last month. A net 23% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up one point from January.  

Thirty-eight percent of owners have job openings for skilled workers and 19% have openings for unskilled labor.