The NFIB Small Business Jobs Report for October put the average change in employment at firms at 0.12, a small increase from the 0.10 in September, but in line with recent months. After registering some record job increases early in 2019 when small businesses had historic highs of job openings and snapped up available workers, conditions have moderated to a more sustainable pace.
The number of job openings dipped 1 point to 34% in October from 35% in September and continued to inch lower overall as concerns about a recession and trade disputes intensified late in the summer. Plans for hiring remained more-or-less on trend for 2019 to-date at 18% in October after a dip to 17% September.
Qualified applicants for job openings remained relatively scarce in October at 53% from 50% in September. It is off the record high of 57% in August.
Plans to compensate employees rose to 22% in October after 18% in September and looked similar to the sorts of readings over much of 2018 and 2019 to-date. Actual compensation in October was 30%, little changed from the 29% in September and August. Actual compensation has tended to outpace businesses’ plans for increases in pay.
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