(The Center Square) – Newly released small business survey data shows that those businesses cite the labor market as their top concern.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses released a survey of small businesses which found that the labor market is their top concern, with 43% of small businesses saying they have job openings they cannot fill.
“The labor force participation rate remains below pre-COVID levels, which is contributing to the shortage of workers available to fill open positions,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said. “Small business owners are struggling to take advantage of current sales opportunities.”
The concern from small business owners comes as new federal hiring data released Friday showed that hiring has slowed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the data, which showed employers added 236,000 jobs in March, keeping unemployment at about 3.5%.
“The labor force participation rate, at 62.6%, continued to trend up in March,” BLS said. “The employment-population ratio edged up over the month to 60.4%. These measures remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels (63.3& and 61.1%, respectively).”
NFIB, which boasts thousands of members, has also become outspoken on the Biden administration’s policies, pushing back on Biden’s environmental regulations and tax increases in a time when businesses are already struggling to deal with elevated inflation.
The small business group launched an ad campaign to push back on tax increases on small businesses proposed in President Joe Biden’s latest budget.
“Main Street cannot afford these new tax increases,” said NFIB President Brad Close. “As expectations for better business conditions remain low, while high inflation and worker shortages continue to plague Main Street, these proposals would hurt small businesses’ ability to recover, grow, and create jobs. The White House should instead focus on promoting economic growth by providing certainty, such as permanently extending the Small Business Deduction.”