The following story was originally published on on July 5, 2018, and written by Jeff Kearns for Click here to be redirected to the original publication of the below story on

Hiring qualified people in a tightening labor market is getting to be an even bigger headache for smaller U.S. companies, who’ve been fattening paychecks to lure skilled workers.

The share of U.S. firms with open positions rose to 36 percent in June, matching November 2000 as the highest in monthly records back to 1973, a National Federation of Independent Business report showed Thursday. Twenty-one percent of small-business owners said finding qualified workers was their biggest problem, also near a record level, according to the group’s survey of member firms through June 29.

“The availability of qualified workers is impeding the growth in employment,” the NFIB said in a report. “Absent significant increases in the size of the labor force through a higher participation rate, owners will increasingly be pirating workers from other firms rather than new entrants in the labor force. There will also be compromises in qualifications and more resources invested in training, both new employees and existing workers.”

The net share of small businesses that raised compensation eased to 31 percent last month from an all-time high of 35 percent in May, according to NFIB.

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