Job growth in March was strong at U.S. small businesses, which seem poised for another historic hiring binge. That’s according to the latest monthly employment report from the National Federation of Independent Business, due out later today.
NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg reports:
Firms increased employment by 0.42 workers per firm on average over the past few months, following equally strong readings in January and February.
Forty-two percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 2 points from February, a record high reading. The March reading is 20 points higher than the 48-year historical average of 22 percent.
Employer demand is strong across the board, but particularly for skilled workers. “Owners are frustrated with mounting unfilled job openings as qualified candidates are scarce,” notes Mr. Dunkelberg.
But the proprietors of small firms aren’t giving up trying to fill those open positions, according to the NFIB report. In fact there is a historic desire to hire:
Owners have plans to fill open positions, with a seasonally adjusted net 22 percent planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up 4 points from February and 11 points above the 48-year historical average.
It will come as no surprise that there is already a solution for making supply intersect with demand. Mr. Dunkelberg reports: “Seasonally adjusted, a net 28 percent reported raising compensation (up 3 points), the highest level in the past 12 months.”
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