SBA Hot Topic Tuesday – Unfilled Job Positions Remains an Issue Across Industries

September 13, 2022

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

SBA Hot Topic Tuesday – Unfilled Job Positions Remains an Issue Across Industries

“Small business owners in various industries continue to manage historic economic headwinds that are impacting their day-to-day business,” says Holly Wade, the Executive Director of NFIB’s Research Center. “Each industry is handling a unique set of circumstances resulting in varying degrees of owner optimism.”

• 62% of small business owners in the construction industry reported unfilled job openings, the highest of all the industries.
• Two-thirds of owners reported that there were few or no qualified applicants.
• Almost three-quarters of construction firms reported raising their prices.

• Of the industries, the manufacturing industry had the highest Optimism Index reading at 93.2.
• 59% of manufacturing firms reported unfilled job openings.
• After dropping 28 points from the last reading, a net negative 29% of manufacturing firm owners expect higher sales.

• While the other industries are above 90, the retail industry has the lowest Optimism Index reading of all the industries at 85.8.
• 43% of owners in the retail industry reported unfilled job positions.
• A net negative 42% of retail small business owners expect higher sales, a 26% drop from the last reading.
• Earning trends also declined since the last reading and are now at a net negative 33%.

• 51% of small business owners in the service industry reported job openings.
• After falling 11% from the last reading, 16% of owners in the service industry plan to increase employment.
• A net negative 51% of owners in this industry expect the economy to improve.

In an extra reading, the NFIB found that the agriculture (50%), retail (44%), and wholesale (37%) industries reported inflation as their single most important problem more than other industries.

NFIB Industry SBET Survey