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Michigan Small Business Still Struggling to Find Qualified Applicants

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The Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business reports business owners are still struggling to fill open jobs, however the situation has improved just a bit in the past month.    NFIB says 40%  of all business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down three points from October.

Other highlights include:

24% of small business owners report that labor quality is a top concern, which remains elevated

8% of owners reported labor costs as  their single most important problem, 5 points below the highest reading of 13% in December 2021

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18% of small business owners plan to create new jobs in the next three months, up one point from October but 14 points below record high of 32 in August 2021

“Small business owners here in Michigan are still operating on shaky ground,”  said Amanda Fisher, NFIB State Director in Michigan.  “Three years after the COVID pandemic threw havoc on mom-and-pop shops throughout the state, inflation and labor issues are still preventing many owners from growing. Michigan lawmakers are compounding the problem by attempting to implement costly regulatory mandates in the form of paid sick leave and a minimum wage increase. All this has many small business owners questioning their future, many doubting if the economic climate in our state will ever support conditions where they feel supported to expand and fully staff their business.”

Overall, 54% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in November, down seven points from October. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 93% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-six percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 24% reported none.

Seasonally adjusted, a net 36% of owners reported raising compensation, unchanged from last month. A net 30% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up six points from October.

Job openings in construction were down nine points from last month but still nearly half have a job opening they can’t fill. Job openings were the highest in the construction and manufacturing sectors and the lowest in the agriculture and finance sectors.

Thirty-three percent of owners have openings for skilled workers (down four points) and 14% have openings for unskilled labor (down four points).

View the full jobs report here.