Author: David I. Templeton, CFA, Principal and Portfolio Manager
Commentary on the job market seems like a broken record: small businesses continue to be unable to fill open positions. The just released September NFIB Small Business Optimism Survey notes that firms surveyed,
- a record 62% reported few or no qualified applicants
- a record 28% reported the single most important problem is quality of labor
- in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, a seasonally adjusted record 51% of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period.
The issue around jobs is certainly having a negative impact on small business optimism. In the report for September, the Small Business Optimism Index continued to weaken, down to 99.1 from the pre-pandemic record high of 108.8. NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in the report, "Small business owners are doing their best to meet the needs of customers, but are unable to hire workers or receive the needed supplies and inventories. "The outlook for economic policy is not encouraging to owners, as lawmakers shift to talks about tax increases and additional regulations."
A healing job market is an important variable in order to sustain positive economic momentum.
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