The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for August hit the highest level in its 45-year history. The previous record was in 1983. The downside is that business owners report their number one problem is finding qualified workers for their job openings. The number of job openings and the percentage of firms listing difficulty hiring qualified workers as their top problem also hit record highs.
Sixty-two percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 3 points), but 55 percent (up 3 points and 89 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. A record 25 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 2 points). Thirty-eight percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, a new survey record high.