Montana Reaction to Today’s National Jobs Report Findings

Date: May 06, 2021

Another record-high number of job openings would seem to support governor’s initiatives

Contact: Ronda Wiggers, Montana State Director,
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager,

HELENA, Mont., May 6, 2021—The nation’s leading small-business association released its monthly Jobs Report today, finding another record high in employment opportunities small-business owners are having a hard time filling.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) releases the latest poll of its small-business-owning membership the first Thursday of every month, and the latest numbers show a record 44% of all small business owners report having job openings they could not fill, 22 points higher than the 48-year historical average, and two points higher than the 42% figure from March. April is the third consecutive month with a record-high reading of unfilled job openings among small businesses. The poll is a national sample not broken down by state.

“Today’s Jobs Report findings brightly highlight the importance of the initiatives Gov. Greg Gianforte took this week to get people back to work,” said Ronda Wiggers, NFIB’s Montana state director. “Jobs are there but for many there’s been greater incentive to collect unemployment benefits rather than a paycheck. For those who can work, that should change here in Montana.”

Key to the governor’s initiatives, according to Wiggers, are the state ending its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs, a return to pre-pandemic unemployment eligibility requirements, and financial return-to-work inducements.

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“The tight labor market is the biggest concern for small businesses who are competing with various factors such as supplemental unemployment benefits, childcare and in-person school restrictions, and the virus. Many small business owners who are trying to hire are finding themselves unsuccessful and are having to delay the hiring or offer higher wages. Some owners are offering ‘show up’ bonuses for workers who agree to take the job and actually show up for work.”

The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The survey was conducted in April 2021 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.

Keep up with the latest on Montana small business at


For more than 77 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

National Federation of Independent Business/Montana
491 South Park Ave.
Helena, MT 59601
Twitter: @NFIB_MT


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