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The ‘Great Resignation’ is working in favor of small businesses in these industries

Despite their more condensed ranks, these types of small businesses are showing the largest uptick in hires, according to QuickBooks.

The ‘Great Resignation’ is working in favor of small businesses in these industries
[Source Photo: MangoStarStudio/iStock]
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With a worker shortage continuing alongside the seemingly endless pandemic, you might think small businesses are struggling. For the most part, they are, says a new QuickBooks report on small businesses. The newly released analysis points to how small businesses are grappling with pandemic recoveries, including responding to a shortage of materials and workers.

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A preliminary study from the Federal Reserve shows about 200,000 small businesses closed permanently during the first year of the pandemic. Many workers (mainly middle-income earners), on the other hand, have left their jobs entirely or are seriously considering it.

However, a few categories of small business increased their headcount this summer, when measuring their new hires between July and August 2021. These industries experienced the largest growth over last two months:

  1. Information (such as software development): +3%
  2. Education: +2%
  3. Professional, scientific, and technical services (such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, and architects): +2%

And from shortly before the pandemic until now (August 2019 to August 2021), these are the industries that grew the most overall:

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  1. Professional, scientific, and technical services: +5%
  2. Construction: +4%
  3. Retail: +4%

The industries that saw the highest employee growth since March 2021 include arts and entertainment, agriculture, and accommodation and food services. These sectors are to be expected as many were shut down during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020—and the rush to resume in-person, non-desk-bound work, like hiring at reopened bars and restaurants, stormed back as pandemic conditions improved.

According to the report’s authors, progress in hiring has “been positive since March 2021,” but there was a summer slowdown due to the uncertainties around the delta variant.

To collect these findings, QuickBooks surveyed over 2,000 U.S. small business owners with fewer than 100 employees and an annual revenue of over $5,000.

About the author

Diana is an assistant editor for Fast Company's Work Life section. Previously, she was an editor at Vice and an editorial assistant at Entrepreneur

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