Colorado Comment on Today’s Disappointing Jobs Report

Date: August 05, 2021

Another record high in openings despite historic raises in compensation is troubling news

DENVER, Aug. 5, 2021—Release of today’s monthly Jobs Report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small-business association, showed that recent record highs in compensation being offered hasn’t blunted equally record highs in the percentage of unfilled job openings.

“Records are meant to be broken but on the positive side of things. Not so with this newest Jobs Report,” said Tony Gagliardi, NFIB’s Colorado state director, in reference to the record 49% of small-business owners reporting unfilled job openings. “Unfilled job openings have remained far above the 48-year historical average of 22 percent.

“With the September 6 end in sight of the extra $300 dollars the federal government has been adding to state unemployment benefits, maybe some workers will find it necessary to return to the job site. Thirty-eight percent of employers have already increased their salaries in attempts to attract new job seekers.

“In addition to the inability to fill current job openings, and also occurring September 6, Colorado employers will take a blow to the stomach when the state must begin paying 2.27 percent interest on the unpaid balance of a $1 billion loan it took out from the federal government to shore up the state’s unemployment trust fund. This puts small-business owners in the unavoidable crosshairs of having to pay higher UI taxes—something that could have been softened if Gov. Jared Polis had allocated funds recently received from the federal government to reduce some of the deficit.”

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

Small business owners struggled to find qualified workers for their open positions, which has impaired business activity in the busy summer months. Owners are raising compensation to the highest levels in 48 years to attract needed employees.”

Highlights from the Jobs Report

  • July’s reading of unfilled job openings was 49% a record high and far above the 48-year historical average of 22%
  • Forty-three percent of owners have job openings for skilled workers (up three points) and 25% have openings for unskilled workers (up three points). In the construction industry, 59% of the job openings are for skilled workers. Sixty-six percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants for their open positions.
  • Seasonally adjusted, a net 38% reported raising compensation, down one point from June’s record high of 39%. A net 27% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up one point from June and a 48-year record high reading.

NFIB’s Jobs Report is a national snapshot not broken down by state. Today’s results were based on 1,440 respondents to the July survey of a random sample of NFIB’s member firms, surveyed through 7/30/2021. The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986.

Contact: Tony Gagliardi, Colorado State Director,,
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager,

Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CO or on Facebook @NFIB.CO


For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit

NFIB Colorado
1700 Lincoln Street, 17th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Twitter: @NFIB_CO
Facebook: NFIB.CO

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