DES MOINES, IOWA (January 11, 2021) — Small-business job growth continued in December, but the gains remain uneven as certain sectors of the economy are slowing due to state-mandated restrictions and consumer resistance to spend, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report.
“Iowa Small business owners are open and eager to hire Iowans, even in the midst of an economic and health pandemic that has hurt struggling entrepreneurs across the state,” said National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) State Director in Iowa, Matt Everson. “The good news is that Iowa is open for business. We ended the 2020 budget year with a surplus of more than $300 million thanks to the leadership of the Iowa House, Senate, and Governor Kim Reynolds. Now we look forward to the 2021 legislative session, which starts on Monday. One of our top issues will be Iowa’s burdensome tax code, specifically income-tax rates.”
NFIB in Iowa’s other top priorities include medical-malpractice reform, property-tax reform, and preserving Iowa’s rural small-businesses by eliminating Iowa’s inheritance tax.
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.
For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small- and independent-business owners, both in Washington DC and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is non-profit, non-partisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.