American small businesses searching for workers to fill open positions are having a more difficult time filling those jobs now than in June, according to a poll from the U.S Chamber of Commerce and Metlife.
Some 49 percent of small businesses actively hiring state it’s hard to find potential employees with the skills required, a jump from only 34 percent in June, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Small businesses are ready to hire, ready to welcome back customers, and support vaccinations to keep customers and employees safe,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “However, the worker shortage crisis threatens the economic recovery of Main Streets across the country, and many small business owners have simply given up on finding new staff. Congress needs to focus on making it easier for small businesses to hire the people they need to grow, compete, and thrive.”
Some 64 percent of small businesses, according to the poll, support businesses in their area requiring COVID-19 vaccines for their employees, with another 60 percent supporting proof of vaccination for customers of businesses in their area. A larger number of small business owners are implanting vaccine requirements for customers than in June, according to the poll.
Another 16 percent of small businesses with at least half of their workforce vaccinated expect a return to normal within three months.
“While it is encouraging to see more optimism around hiring plans in the latest poll, small businesses are still facing a challenging, ever-changing environment, especially when it comes to recruiting workers,” said Cynthia Smith, senior vice president, Regional Business at MetLife. “In a competitive labor market, it is more important than ever for small businesses to have the tools and resources needed to attract and retain top talent.”
President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and business-initiated mandate received equal support from respondents.
According to the White House, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is in the process of developing a vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Under this rule, workers who remain unvaccinated would be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test weekly before coming to work.
The proposed mandates drew harsh criticism from Republicans nationwide, with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey describing the mandates as an “outrageous overreach” from the federal government.
Yet, 58 percent of American’s, according to a recent Gallup poll, said they are in favor of the administration’s vaccine mandate for companies with 100 or more employees.