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“The great American worker shortage continues, but small firms managed to maintain their recent pace of job creation in October. Not surprisingly, wages are also rising as business owners struggle to staff available positions. That’s according to the latest monthly employment survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, due out later today.
“Job creation held steady in October, with an average addition of 0.12 workers per firm,” reports NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. This figure is up slightly from September but down from February’s robust pace of job creation, when U.S. small businesses reported adding 0.52 workers per firm.
Mr. Dunkelberg says slower job growth is “no surprise as reports that “finding qualified workers” to fill job openings has been the number one business problem this year. Finding qualified workers remains a top issue with 25 percent reporting this as their number one problem, 2 points below August’s record high.”
Labor markets remain especially tight in manufacturing and construction. And across all industries, it seems that labor markets are getting even tighter. NFIB finds that 60% of surveyed firms hired or tried to hire during October, a monthly increase of three percentage points. Future hiring plans increased as well. “A seasonally-adjusted net 18 percent plan to create new jobs, up 1 point,” reports Mr. Dunkelberg. He adds that the limited supply of workers is naturally forcing employers to raise wages to satisfy their demand for labor…”
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