New data from the National Federation of Independent Business shows the small business labor market continued to improve in September amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to NFIB’s monthly jobs data, 10 percent of small business owners reported increasing employment an average of 3.2 workers per business. Conversely, 16 percent of business owners reported reducing employment by an average of 2 workers per firm.
“Small employers are taking every step they can to keep their businesses open and employees on staff,” says NIFB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “COVID-19 restrictions and regulations put on small businesses vary by state, but we are starting to see a jobs recovery as small businesses continue to increase business operations.”
As home improvement retail sales remain strong, other business owners report similar optimism. More than 20 percent of small business owners surveyed plan to create new jobs in the next three months, up two points from August levels, NFIB reports. However, more than one-third of all owners say they have job openings they cannot currently fill, which is up three points from August.
Roughly half of all business owners report hiring or trying to hire in September, which grew from the previous month. Of those planning to hire, nearly 90 percent report finding few or no qualified candidates for those positions. Hardware Retailing recently compiled resources to help independent home improvement retailers find the most qualified candidates for their operations.