Business owners are feeling more optimistic, but are still reporting difficulties in filling jobs.

That was the finding of a National Federation of Independent Business survey released on Tuesday.

Key findings of the national survey revealed that owners’ optimism increased slightly in August as compared to July as measured by NFIB’s business optimism index, but are not feeling as positive in other key measurements.

“As the economy moves into the fourth quarter, small business owners are losing confidence in the strength of future business conditions,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The biggest problems facing small employers right now is finding enough labor to meet their demand and for many, managing supply chain disruptions.”

Fifty percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, an increase of one point from July and a 48-year record high for the second consecutive month.

Notably, the survey found that the number of owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months continues to decrease. This indicator has declined over the past two months to its lowest since January 2013.

“Our small business members say problems with the supply chain and finding qualified workers are creating uncertainty for them and frustrating efforts to get back to pre-pandemic levels,” said NFIB State Director Jim Brown.

No state-specific date was available.

The NFIB Research Foundation has collected small business economic trends data with quarterly surveys since 1973 and monthly surveys since 1988.

Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership.

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