As the country emerges from COVID-19 restrictions, small businesses are doing better, according to a March report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). However, uncertainty about the next few months for business owners is still high, and businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill positions.
“Virginia’s small businesses are working hard on their recovery but are struggling to find the right workers to fill open positions,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a Wednesday press release. “It is important that Virginia lawmakers keep small businesses a priority and focus on policies that will strengthen job growth and not hinder the small business recovery.”
According to the release, 42 percent of owners report openings that they can’t fill.
“Owners continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers to fill jobs as they compete with increased unemployment benefits and the pandemic keeping some workers out of the labor force,” the release states. “A net 28 percent of owners reported raising compensation (up three points) and the highest level in the past 12 months. A net 17 percent plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down two points.”
NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “Small business owners are competing with the pandemic and increased unemployment benefits that are keeping some workers out of the labor force. However, owners remain determined to hire workers and grow their business.”
Analysis in the report states, “Forecasters are making upward revisions to their expected 2021 performance for the U.S. economy, and especially for the first half. Some observers (for example, Ambassador John Kerry) say that the ‘Great Reset’ is taking place, and this is an ‘exciting time.'”
The analysis warns, “Their [Businesses’] ability to take advantage will still depend on government antiCovid regulations. Opening up the economy could be the largest ‘stimulus’ government could provide. There are major dislocations (in education for example) that will shape the local economies impacted by very different policies and it will take time for bad policy decisions to be exposed and remedied by the governments that created them.”
“The recent economic report that came out that showed that the jobless claims are down and that the number of jobs that are out there are increasing. The economy is booming back, the government needs to allow the market to start to restore our economy,” said Chris Stolle, candidate for the GOP nomination for 83rd House of Delegates district.
Candidate Phil Kazmierczak’s campaign manager Ben Dixon said, “Phil believes, as President Reagan did, that the best social program is a job. It’s time to open up our economy and get Americans back to work.”
Candidate Tim Anderson said in a Facebook video Thursday, “You have to ask yourself: how are businesses, especially in Virginia Beach, being threatened with going out of business because of a work shortage when over 100,000 people are on unemployment than they were in last year?”
Anderson said it was because federal subsidies increased unemployment benefits for unemployed people.
“That’s because they’re getting this kick from the federal government,” Anderson said. “We are paying people not to work, and we have created a shortage.”
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