Small Businesses Continue To Struggle To Fill Job Openings

November 7, 2022

By Terri Jo Neff |

The struggle to fill job openings continues for mom-and-pop enterprises and other small businesses across the country, according to a report issued Thursday by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

“The labor shortage remains a challenging problem for small business owners,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said of the group’s Jobs Report for October. “Because of staffing shortages, small business owners are less able to take full advantage of current sales opportunities and continue to make business adjustments to compensate,”

The Jobs Report is a monthly, national snapshot of the small-business-owning membership of NFIB in 9 industries — agriculture, construction, finance, manufacturing, professional, retail, services, transportation, and wholesale.

The October 2022 report released Nov. 3 shows that:

  • 23 percent of owners report labor quality as their top business problem, second only to inflation;
  • 61 percent of owners reported hiring—or trying to hire—in October;
  • Of those hiring or trying to hire, 90 percent of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the open positions;
  • 40 percent of owners have openings for skilled workers while 22 percent are seeking unskilled labor;
  • Transportation (68 percent) and Construction (63 percent) had the most difficulty in October filling job openings.

There are several programs available to Arizona small businesses to assist with hiring issues. One is the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are 10 SBDC Centers in Arizona served through the local community college districts.

Another is Arizona@Work sponsored by the Arizona Commerce Authority and Arizona Department of Economic Security.

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