Hiring by small US companies hits a three-month low

Highlighting a labor shortage, a private survey shows many US small businesses are unable to fill jobs.

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    According to a new report, a number of US small businesses say they cannot fill available jobs despite having raised salaries [Allison Hess/Bloomberg]
    According to a new report, a number of US small businesses say they cannot fill available jobs despite having raised salaries [Allison Hess/Bloomberg]

    A variety of labor-market indicators at small U.S. businesses declined in June, according to a private monthly survey, adding to signs of cooling ahead of the government's employment report.

    The share of small companies planning to hire fell by 2 percentage points to 19%, a three-month low, and the proportion saying they were unable to fill openings dropped to 36%, the lowest since January, a National Federation of Independent Business report showed Thursday.

    On the wage front, 28% of businesses reported raising compensation, down 6 percentage points and the weakest since 2017, while the share planning to boost wages also declined.

    The Labor Department on Friday will release employment data for June, a report expected to figure prominently in the Federal Reserve's debate later this month over whether to cut interest rates. A second straight month of weak payroll gains would reinforce forecasts for a reduction in borrowing costs.

    "The current labor shortage is the biggest issue facing the small business economy," NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Bloomberg