66% Of Small Businesses Report The Labor Shortage Is Getting Worse

Updated on

Alignable’s September Hiring Poll is out today and shows that the labor shortage many industries have experienced this summer is only getting worse, due to the Delta variant surges.

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An Escalating Labor Shortage

In a survey of 4,079 small business owners conducted from 8/15 to 9/13/21, 66% reported having a "very difficult" time finding the right employees to fill open roles, many of which are necessary to help them drive revenue and rebound.

Given Delta surges and an escalating labor shortage, looking at the last three months, it's clear to see that many small businesses are sadly moving backwards in their recovery. 

In July, only 50% of all small business owners said they’re having trouble finding the right help. That figure jumped to 59% last month, and now has gone up another 7% to 66%.

And the sectors that suffered the most earlier this summer are also in worse shape when it comes to hiring now. Here’s a summary of our industry findings.

Labor Shortage

Restaurants Find It Difficult To Find The Right Help

Topping the list, now 85% of restaurants report it’s very difficult to find the right help. That’s up 5% from August and 11% from July. 

  • Manufacturers are in a similar situation. In July, 62% had trouble finding help, and that percentage jumped to 72% in August, and 83% in September.
  • Other industries experiencing escalating labor shortages include automotive, construction, and beauty.
  • Among beauty shop owners, 59% struggled to hire help in July. In September, that figure was 74%.
  • And retailers are having a tougher time each month, as well. In July, 47% struggled to find the right help. But in September, 61% reported having trouble.

Other findings include that 47% of employers have combated the shortage by elevating salaries for everyone they employ. And 23% said they reduced hours to cut expenses.

Meanwhile, 26% said they finally gave up on finding someone and/or decided just to do the work themselves.

Despite these struggles, Alignable also learned in its poll that the No. 1 way employers have found people to hire (37%), and employees have found side gigs (35%), is through personal referrals and networking.

Based on that finding, Alignable  has created a new hiring solution portal for both employers and small business owners seeking side gigs.

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