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NFIB Report: Small Business Job Openings Drop to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Small Businesses on Main Street Hiring Slowdown in March 2021

In March, small businesses on Main Street experienced a slowdown in hiring, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. The report showed that a net 11% of small business owners are planning to create new jobs in the next three months, which is down one point from February and the lowest level since May 2020. Despite this, job openings on Main Street are now at pre-pandemic levels, despite the slowdown in hiring.

According to the NFIB report, 56% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in March 2021, which was unchanged from February. Of those trying to hire, 86% reported few or no qualified applicants. Twenty-nine percent reported few qualified applicants, while 19% reported none. Additionally, 37% of all small business owners reported job openings they could not fill, which is the lowest reading since January 2021.

The NFIB report also indicated that labor quality was a top small business operating problem for 18% of owners, up two points from February. However, the number of owners reporting labor costs as the most important problem decreased by one point to 10%. Despite this, a net 38% of small business owners reported raising compensation, with a net 21% planning to raise compensation in the next three months.

Thirty-one percent of owners reported job openings for skilled workers, while 14% had openings for unskilled labor. Construction job openings were down nine points from the previous month

By Samantha Jones

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