Small Business Owners Struggle to Find Workers in COVID-19 Recovery

Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In March 2021, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported in its monthly jobs survey that 42 percent of small business owners reported job openings that could not be filled – a record high reading – as they continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers to fill jobs as they compete with increased unemployment benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic keeping some workers out of the labor force.

“Main Street is doing better as state and local restrictions are eased, but finding qualified labor is a critical issue for small businesses nationwide,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg stated in the report. “Small business owners are competing with the pandemic and increased unemployment benefits that are keeping some workers out of the labor force. However, owners remain determined to hire workers and grow their business.”

The survey found that a net 28 percent of owners reported raising compensation, up three points, and a net 17 percent plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down two points. Seven percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem and 24 percent said that labor quality was their top business problem. Finding eligible workers to fill open positions will become increasingly difficult for small business owners.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of April 21, 2021, there are approximately 143 million global cases and 3 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 31 million cases and 568,000 deaths, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

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