Worker Shortage Hits Record High; Small Businesses Respond with Pay Hikes

By Craig Bannister | January 5, 2018 | 9:56am EST
Small businesses struggled to find qualified workers in December. (Screenshot)

The shortage of qualified workers hit a record high, while small business owners’ plans to raise compensation was the second highest in December, latest National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Jobs Report reveals.

“We’ve been watching this problem build for the last 12 months, but it seems to have reached a critical point in December,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Small business owners are converting their optimism into action, and a majority cannot find enough workers to meet higher customer demand.”

The percent of small business owners they found few or no qualified workers jumped 10 points from November to a record 54%, topping the previous high of 53% set in September of 1999.

Meanwhile, the number of firms planning to raise compensation jumped six points to 23%, matching the second highest reading in history in March of 2000. The record for compensation plans is 27%, set in December of 1989.


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