Small businesses are as optimistic as ever and unemployment is near record lows. That is a formula for a skilled labor shortage, and it is leading to wage increases for employees at small businesses.

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), 37 percent of small businesses owners say they have had job opening they could not fill.

“The July jobs report shows the magnitude of small businesses that are growing and hiring at record levels, creating new jobs and opportunities for the workforce, and offering employees higher compensation,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan.

According to NFIB, the number of small businesses planning to create jobs across the country remained at record high levels in July, while owners added the largest number of workers in 12 years.

“Small business owners are continuing to show that they’re looking to hire and willing to pay more to hire the right employees,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Record job openings suggest that the economy can keep up its growth pace over the next few years if the labor shortage can be resolved or mitigated.”

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