Almost Half of U.S. Small Firms Are Raising Compensation
(Bloomberg) -- A near-record 49% of U.S. small-business owners said they raised worker compensation in March, which barely helped chip away at still-elevated job openings, the National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday.
The share of small firms boosting worker pay is just below the 50% seen in January, which was the highest in monthly data back to 1986. Some 28% said they planned to raise compensation in the next three months, up slightly from February’s 26%.
Higher pay is only slowly starting to bear fruit as 47% of small businesses reported open positions that they could not fill.
“Owners have continued to increase their compensation in March to attract the right employees for their open positions, however, these rising labor costs will be passed on to their consumers through higher selling prices,” Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, said in a statement.
Six in 10 small-business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in March, with 92% of that group reporting few or no qualified applicants for their vacancies.
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