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Small Businesses Struggle To Find Qualified Employees

89 percent of business owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill

By Megan Barth, January 5, 2024 1:04 pm

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released their monthly Jobs Report which showed little change in the struggles small businesses are having with finding qualified employees.

“As 2024 begins, employers in Nevada and across the country continue to struggle with finding qualified employees to fill open positions,” said Tray Abney, Nevada state director of the NFIB.

“While this tight labor market is good for job seekers, who are demanding higher pay and more generous benefits, it further puts the squeeze on small business owners, who have been pummeled by higher costs, outrageous credit card processing fees, disrupted supply chains, and various government-imposed regulations and fees. We urge all of our elected leaders to keep these things in mind as they begin to formulate policy ideas for the New Year, and we hope that our school systems continue to improve the real-world skill sets of our future workforce.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Overall, 55 percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in December, up one point from November. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 89 percent of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. 28 percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 21 percent reported none.
  • Seasonally adjusted, a net 36 percent of owners reported raising compensation, unchanged for the fifth consecutive month. A net 29 percent of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down one point from November 2023.
  • Job openings in the construction industry were up nine points from last month and over half have a job opening they can’t fill. Job openings were the highest in the construction and transportation sectors and the lowest in the agriculture and finance sectors.

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg noted: “The tight labor market has been a consistent concern for small business owners throughout 2023. The level of job openings suggests a solid labor market will continue on Main Street for 2024, as owners raise compensation to attract qualified workers and consumers spend.”

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