October 18, 2021

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Main Street Monday – 42% of Small Businesses Raised Employee Compensation in September

“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,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. In the NFIB’s September Small Business Economic Trends Report, the Small Business Optimism Index decreased one point to 99.1, and the Uncertainty Index increased to 74.

Here is what the NFIB report has to say about the labor market, compensation, and supply chain disruptions:

Labor Market
• More than half (51%) of small business owners reported unfilled job positions, another record high reading for the third consecutive month. 22% is the NFIB 48-year historical average.
• Two-thirds of owners were hiring or trying to hire more employees in September.
• 62% of small business owners reported few to no qualified candidates applying for the positions they were trying to fill.
• Around a third of owners (32%) are planning to create new job positions in the next three months, a six-point decrease since August.

Employee Compensation
• 42% of business owners raised compensation in September. A net 30% of owners are planning to raise compensation in the next three months.
• 12% of small business owners reported that labor costs were their top business problem.

Supply Chain Disruptions
• A net 3% of owners reported inventory increases. This increased five points since August and brought this score to positive territory after two months of owners reporting more inventory declines than gains.
• More than 35% of small business owners said supply chain issues have had a significant impact on their business. 32% said supply chain is having a moderate impact on their business, and 21% reported a mild impact.
• Only 10% of small business owners participating in the survey reported having no impact from supply chain disruptions.

NFIB Report