DES MOINES, IOWA (February 4, 2021) — According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 51% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January. Small employers have plans to fill open positions, with a net 17% (seasonally adjusted) planning to create new jobs in the next three months.

“This new report confirms what we’ve known for months: that keeping Iowa’s economy open for business during the COVID-19 pandemic has put our state in great position to quickly recover from challenges to the economy,” said Matt Everson, NFIB State Director in Iowa. “Iowa’s economy is open for business and our small business owners want to hire. While our economy remains fragile, a majority of our small business owners are facing a pre-pandemic problem of hiring qualified workers. Small businesses increased employment in January by 0.36 workers per firm on average over the past few months, up from 0.30 in December, a very strong two-month performance.”

Seasonally-adjusted, 33% of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up one point from December. Twenty-eight percent of owners have openings for skilled workers and 12% have openings for unskilled labor.

Finding qualified labor remains a problem for small business owners. Ninety percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no “qualified” applicants for the positions they were trying to fill in January, down two points from December. Twenty-six percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 20% reported none.

A net 25% (seasonally adjusted) of owners reported raising compensation and a net 17% plan to do so in the coming months. Seven percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem, unchanged from December.

In the construction sector, 44% of the job openings are for skilled workers, up three points. Fifty-six percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants and 32% cited the shortage of qualified labor as their top business problem.

Click here to view the full report.

For more than 75 years, the National Federation of Independent Business (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

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