Nearly Half of U.S. Small Businesses Have Job Openings

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

Number of the Day 48%

The Balance

That's the share of small business owners who said they had unfilled job openings in May, a record high, as firms struggled to hire the workers they need to keep pace with an economy swiftly recovering from the pandemic.

It’s the fourth straight month a new record has been set, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which released its monthly jobs report Tuesday. Of the small business owners surveyed by NFIB, 61% said they were hiring or trying to hire in May. Nearly all of that group—93%—said they had few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill, despite some taking steps to attract workers, like raising wages.

The results mirror what’s happening elsewhere in the labor market, where a hiring boom has failed to materialize despite a record number of job openings and surging consumer demand for goods and services. The number of jobs available nationwide soared to a record 9.3 million at the end of April, according to government data also released Tuesday—that’s roughly one open job for every person who’s unemployed in the U.S. But workers aren’t flocking to the jobs on offer, as issues finding childcare, continued anxiety about the pandemic, and the federal unemployment insurance supplement all could be keeping workers at home.