Monday, March 8, 2021
Economy and Analysis Low Unemployment is Great unless you’re Small Biz is...

Low Unemployment is Great unless you’re Small Biz is looking for Workers

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There has never been a better time or place in the history of civilization than now to be an American entrepreneur. With one small exception, finding workers to help you fulfill your dream. The alphabet mainstream media uses this upbeat data to suggest deleterious results for the small businessman. After all, how can socialism exist in a growing capitalistic economy?

Next week is National Small Business Week, and one can imagine that hiring new employees will be at the crux of the conversation. Just like every other sector of the economy, there are ebbs and flows. With a 3.6 percent unemployment rate, the lowest since December 1969, the labor market continues to thrive. “This is a worker’s job market,” said Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi. And guess what, for reasons unknown, it will not always be this way.

In addition to new hires, small businesses are working hard at keeping their current employees. “Owners are trying to hold on to the employees that they have in a highly competitive labor market,” a March survey from the National Federation of Independent Business said. As you can see from the graphic, small business hiring, as defined by workers per firm, is at its highest level since 2006.

We’ve known about this tight labor market for some time now. Perhaps we don’t need a fast food restaurant or nail salon on every intersection in America. I saw today that in Charleston, SC, 5 Burger King Franchises were closing.

You can be sure that it wasn’t because the masses have lost their taste for the Whopper. It was a combination of having to pay higher minimum wages, which you won’t read about in those same fake news articles, and the inability to find people who want to work. Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist, puts it this way. “Small businesses often are limited in the amount of wage increase they can offer, so the fact that we’re seeing rising wages is really a sign of how tight the labor market is and how hard it can be for small businesses to find qualified workers.”

Taking a last shot at the press before her departure, outgoing Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon quips, “I don’t need a spreadsheet to tell me the president’s America first program of tax, trade, regulatory and energy reform is supercharging our economy.” I know that must have had to hurt ABC news for publishing that quote. I imagine jobs were threatened and heads will roll.

Nobody who has ever run a small business will say it’s ever easy. The one possible exception is when you retire and sell out. Otherwise, as the expression goes, “there’s always something.” Remember, small companies are more nimble in their response to market conditions, and have come and gone as the economics of supply and demand dictate. There could be worse problems to have. Also, surveys show that more and more small businesses are satisfied with a certain level of growth, hence the advent of the solopreneur. By definition, he or she has no hiring problem.

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