The share of U.S. small companies with open positions in October matched the second-highest on record and more businesses said they plan to boost compensation, signs that a tight labor market could soon translate into bigger pay raises.
35% of small-business owners surveyed said that they had jobs to fill, matching July as the second-highest in records to 1973, according to data released Nov. 2 by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
In November 2000, an all-time high 36% had openings. Job postings last month were most prevalent in construction, with 49% reporting availability, and in manufacturing with 48%.
While wage growth in the U.S. has been modest during the current expansion, reports of increased worker compensation remained strong in October. Some 21% of small companies said they plan to boost pay in coming months, the largest share since December 2015. The last time it was higher was in March 2000.