Newly released survey data shows that small business businesses cite the labor market as their top concern.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses released a survey of small businesses which found that the labor market is their top concern, with 43% of small businesses saying they have job openings they cannot fill.
“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. “Small business owners are struggling to take advantage of current sales opportunities.”
Small business owners’ worries coincide with recent federal hiring data that reveals a slowdown in hiring. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in March, employers added 236,000 jobs, maintaining an unemployment rate of around 3.5%.
“The labor force participation rate, at 62.6%, continued to trend up in March,” BLS said. “The employment-population ratio edged up over the month to 60.4%. These measures remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels (63.3& and 61.1%, respectively).”
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), representing thousands of members, has become increasingly vocal about the Biden administration’s policies. Amid businesses grappling with elevated inflation, the NFIB has opposed Biden’s environmental regulations and tax increases. In response to tax increases proposed for small businesses in President Biden’s recent budget, the organization launched an ad campaign to challenge these proposals.
“Main Street cannot afford these new tax increases,” said NFIB President Brad Close. “As expectations for better business conditions remain low, while high inflation and worker shortages continue to plague Main Street, these proposals would hurt small businesses’ ability to recover, grow, and create jobs. The White House should instead focus on promoting economic growth by providing certainty, such as permanently extending the Small Business Deduction.”