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Lack of qualified candidates keeps small businesses from expanding during pandemic

According to the NFIB, more small businesses are trying to expanded, but fewer skilled workers are willing to work.
According to the NFIB, more small businesses are trying to expanded, but fewer skilled workers are willing to work.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 8:30 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - According to recent data from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, more small businesses are seeking to grow during the pandemic.

Thor Stacey is the director of NFIB in Alaska. On Tuesday, he told Alaska’s News Source that it’s not surprising to see small businesses trying to take advantage of any opportunity to grow, but the issue for many owners tends to be whether or not they can find skilled workers to fill needed positions.

“Small businesses are kind of a foundation for the economy, and one the key attributes of the small business community is how quickly they can adapt,” Stacey said.

The NFIB’s most recent jobs report indicates that 56% of small business owners reported that they either hired or were hiring new workers in September. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of those same businesses say they received few to no qualified applicants.

Twenty-three percent of small business owners also reported plans to create new jobs in the next three months; however, 36% already have openings that they cannot fill. Overall, it still results in a net gain of jobs and the NFIB is also reporting higher levels of compensation.

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