DES MOINES, IOWA (March 5, 2021) — According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 56% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in February, up five points from January. A net 18% of owners reported they are planning to create new jobs in the next three months.

“This survey reflects what we already know here in Iowa: Thanks to strong leadership by our state leaders, Iowa’s economy is in great shape, despite a global pandemic,” said Matt Everson, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s State Director in Iowa. “Iowa’s small businesses are open for business and generating jobs and revenue for our state, something that can’t be said for other states across the country. However, there is a pause for concern. If our small-business owners continue to have problems finding qualified workers, that could be a barrier for continued economic growth here in Iowa.”

Small businesses increased employment by 0.34 workers per firm on average over the past few months, following good readings in December and January. Forty percent of owners reported job-openings they could not fill in the current period, up seven points from last month.

Thirty-three percent of businesses have openings for skilled workers (up five points) and 16% have openings for unskilled labor (up four points).

Small-business owners continue to have difficulty finding qualified employees. Ninety-one percent of those trying to hire reported few or no “qualified” applicants for their open positions, up five points in February. Twenty-six percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions (unchanged) and 25% reported none (up five points).

Seasonally-adjusted, a net 25% reported raising compensation and a net 19% plan to do so in the coming months. Nine percent cited labor costs as their top business problem (up two points), and 24% said that labor quality was their top business problem (up three points and the top overall concern).

In the construction industry, 51% of the job openings are for skilled workers, up seven points from January’s reading. Sixty-one percent of firms reported few or no qualified workers, and 35% cited the shortage of qualified labor as their top business problem.

Click here to view the entire NFIB Jobs Report.

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

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