Small Business Gears up for Kansas’ 2021 Session
Small business job growth continued in December, but the gains remain uneven as certain sectors of the economy are slowing due to state-mandated business closures and consumer resistance to spend, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report.
“Here’s the good news. Kansas small business owners are eager to hire and get the state’s economy back up and running after the damages from the health and economic crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted here in Kansas, ”said NFIB State Director in Kansas, Dan Murray. “The bad news is that our small business owners continue to have problems hiring qualified workers. Small business owners here in Kansas are watching to see what happens starting January 11, when lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol to start their 2021 legislative session. They are confident that lawmakers will have the best interests of small business owners in mind as they pass legislation and small business owners continue to recover from this devastating pandemic.”
Small businesses increased employment by 0.3 workers per firm on average over the past few months, an increase of 0.14 workers per firm compared to November’s reading.
Owners are still looking to hire as they reported a historically high level of job openings in December. Thirty-two percent (seasonally adjusted) of owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 2 points from November. Twenty-seven percent have openings for skilled workers and 11% have openings for unskilled labor.
Small business employers plan to fill their open positions with a net 17% (seasonally adjusted) reporting they are planning to create new jobs in the next three months, a historically strong reading. Overall, 54% reported hiring or trying to hire in December.
However, many owners are having trouble finding qualified employees for their open positions. Eighty-nine percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill in December. Down one point from November, 26% of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 22% reported none (up two points).
Forty-seven percent of the job openings in the construction industry are for skilled workers. Fifty-nine percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants and 33% cited the shortage of qualified labor as their top business problem.
A net 21% (seasonally adjusted) reported raising compensation and a net 14% plan to do so in the coming months. Six percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem and 21% said that labor quality was their top business problem.