The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said its Small Business Optimism Index fell 3.6 points in June 2022 to 89.5, the lowest level since January 2013. 34% of owners said that inflation was their biggest single problem in running their business, an increase of six points from May and the highest level since the fourth quarter of 1980.
However, demand for labor remained solid as businesses continued to grow their operations. The NFIB survey showed 50% of owners reported job openings they could not fill in June, down a point from May’s reading, which tied the previous record high. The vacancies were for both skilled and unskilled labor, with worker shortages most severe in the construction, manufacturing, and services industries. Solid demand for labor, which was underscored by stronger-than-expected job growth in June, raises hope that any economic downturn will be short and mild.