A RECORD share of small-business owners in the US say they’re raising overall pay to attract workers and retain employees amid one of the tightest labour markets in decades.
A net 37% of firms report offering higher compensation in September, surpassing the previous record of 35% in May, according to the monthly jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released last Thursday.
“There is extraordinary competition for workers in this historically tight labour market,” NFIB president Juanita Duggan said in a statement released with the data, citing tax cuts and regulatory overhauls as reasons for greater confidence among owners.
“Small business owners are investing more in their employees to attract and keep qualified workers.”
The report follows a record reading last month for NFIB’s measure of owner optimism, which rose as companies planned the most capital spending since 2007 and hiring intentions hit an all-time high. That measure of hiring plans ticked down to 23% in September from 26% the prior month, the data showed.
NFIB said the share of owners who report hiring or trying to hire fell 1 percentage point to 61%, while 87% of those companies seeking workers said they’re finding few or no qualified candidates.
The industries with the most openings were construction, manufacturing, transportation, wholesale trades and retail, according to the report. — Bloomberg