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6-8-21 TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)

Kansas businesses are still struggling to find employees to fill open positions, even after wages have been raised.

The National Federation of Independent Business says a record-high 48% of small business owners reported unfilled job openings in May, according to its monthly jobs report. It said May marks the fourth month in a row of record-high levels for unfilled job openings and is 26 points higher than the 48-year historical average of 22%.

“This survey shows that small business owners are still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dan Murray, NFIB State Director in Kansas. “However, there is one very simple thing that the governor can do to end the unprecedented struggle our small business owners are facing as they try to find qualified workers. Our small business owners are urging her to end the federal unemployment benefits. Once that happens, Kansas workers will get back into the labor force and our small business owners will be able to hire the people they need to keep Kansas’ economy on track.”

According to the NFIB, 61% of business owners reported hiring or attempting to hire in May. It said owners have plans to fill the open positions with a seasonally adjusted net 27% planning to create new jobs in the next three months.ADVERTISEMENThttps://0aedf58c79cc53dfbc4ba99e8a9c964b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

NFIB said a net 34% of owners reported raising pay, the highest level in a year. It said a net 22% of owners plan to raise pay within the next three months, which is up two points from April.

According to the Federation, small business owners continue to report that finding a qualified employee still remains an issue, with 93% of owners hiring or attempting to hire reporting few or no qualified applications for the positions they needed to be filled in may. It said 32% of owners reported they found a few qualified applicants for positions and 25% reported that there were none.

NFIB said 8% of owners cited labor costs as their top business issue and 26% reported labor quality as their top business issue.

According to the NFIB, 40% of small business owners have job openings for skilled workers and 27% have openings for unskilled labor. In the construction industry, it said 51% of openings are for skilled workers, however, 66% of construction businesses reported that there were few or no qualified applicants.

To view the full report, click HERE.

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