Small businesses struggle to fill job openings, report finds

(The Center Square) – A newly released survey of small businesses shows that nearly half are having trouble filling job openings.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released the survey, which found that 44% of small business owners report being unable to fill current job openings, a full 20 points higher than the average reading over the last 49 years.

“The labor force participation rate remains below pre-COVID levels, which is contributing to the shortage of workers available to fill open positions,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said.

NFIB’s data is based on 632 respondents, with 89% of small business owners trying to hire saying they found few or no qualified applicants for their job openings.

Openings vary by industry. Below are the percentages of job openings by industry, according to the report:

  • Construction 63%
  • Transportation 59%
  • Manufacturing 52%
  • Services 48%
  • Professional 46%
  • Retail 44%
  • Wholesale 36%
  • Finance 29%
  • Agriculture 25%

Federal data shows there are about 10 million open jobs in the U.S. and a little more than half that number are looking for work.

“Small businesses have a record high level of job openings currently and are working hard to fill their open positions,” Dunkelberg said.

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