The April employment report will be released Friday morning and a big increase in hiring is expected.
However, it depends on whether employers can find enough workers.
That fact is being seen among small business owners.
The latest NFIB Jobs Report says a record 44% of all small business owners have job openings they could not fill in April.
That is 22 points higher than the 48-year historical average, and two points higher than the 42% figure from March.
April is the third consecutive month with a record-high reading of unfilled job openings among small businesses.
"The tight labor market is the biggest concern for small businesses who are competing with various factors such as supplemental unemployment benefits, childcare and in-person school restrictions, and the virus," said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. "Many small business owners who are trying to hire are finding themselves unsuccessful and are having to delay the hiring or offer higher wages. Some owners are offering ‘show up’ bonuses for workers who agree to take the job and actually show up for work."
Overall, 59% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in April, up three points from March’s reading.
Ninety-two percent of those owners hiring or trying to hire report few or no "qualified" applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.
The Labor Department is expected to say the U.S. economy added 978,000 new nonfarm jobs last month. That would be the fourth straight month of gains and the highest since August.
It would top the much stronger-than-expected increase of 916,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate is also anticipated to decline for a fourth month to 5.8%, the lowest since March 2020.
Most of the hiring represents a bounce-back after tens of millions of jobs were lost when the pandemic flattened the economy 14 months ago. Even if economists’ estimate for April hiring proves accurate, the economy would remain about 7 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.