by Ray Hayes

Small businesses are increasing wages to attract workers amid the tight labor market. In the month of September, firms reported offering 37 percent higher compensation which is a record high.  The closest increase came in May when wages hit a 35 percent growth. Furthermore, the current record is one of many for the month of September as the NFIB reported a record high in small business owner’s optimism. On the down side of the NFIB report, hiring plans saw a decrease of 23 percent in September from 26 percent in August.

The Washington Post spoke with the NFIB President Juanita Duggan about the recent reports and why small businesses are paying workers more. “There is extraordinary competition for workers in this historically tight labor market. Small business owners are investing more in their employees to attract and keep qualified workers.”

One of the most alarming stats from the NFIB report is that more than 87 percent of companies seeking workers indicated that they were unable to find or found few qualified candidates. This led to a drop of 1 percent in hiring from the previous month of 62 percent.