U.S. small businesses face great challenge as competition for workers intensifies: study

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-07 07:14:26|Editor: Li Xia
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Finding and keeping qualified workers in a tight job market posed a challenge to U.S. small businesses, according to a study released by Bank of America (BofA) on Thursday.

The BofA study showed that 24 percent of small business owners in the United States found at least one employee left their company in 2018, while 11 percent of business owners lost at least 10 percent of their workforce.

Underperformance, going to a larger company and accepting a higher salary offer, were the top 3 reasons for an employee to leave, according to the study.

At the same time, 58 percent of the businesses reported difficulty in finding qualified candidates to fill vacant posts, while 50 percent of the surveyed companies believed the tightening labor market had a direct impact on their ability to hire.

"Pointing to the tightening labor market, more than half of business owners who sought to hire in the past year say they had difficulty finding qualified candidates, which has hampered business growth," said Sharon Miller, managing director and head of small business of BofA.

"As a result, many entrepreneurs are modifying hiring strategies and highlighting the benefits of a small business work culture to increase their chances of landing top talent," she added.

U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) also noted on Wednesday that the tightness in labor market had put some constraint on the firms across its 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the United States.

"Over half of the Districts cited firms for which employment, production, and sometimes capacity expansion had been constrained by an inability to attract and retain qualified workers," said the Fed.

In order to impress and keep talented workers, the Fed said that most Districts noted examples of firms enhancing nonwage benefits, including health benefits, profit-sharing, bonuses, and paid vacation days.

According to the BofA, the study covered small business owners throughout 10 major cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.