Employers are struggling to fill open positions as New York's labor participation rate continues to lag behind many peer states, a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found.

The survey, released last week, showed 47% of small business owners reported job openings that have not been filled.

“This report underscores the need for solutions that support our local job creators – not burdensome mandates that make it harder for small businesses to keep their doors open," said NFIB State Director Ashley Ranslow. "Amid escalating prices, a low workforce participation rate, and recession fears, small business owners are asking lawmakers to do no harm, and to work together on a pro-growth agenda that would promote greater economic opportunity for New York.”

New York's labor participation rate has been behind neighboring states like New Jersey and Massachusetts as well as larger states like California and Florida, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state has also not covered all of the jobs lost in the wake of the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago, and not is expected to do so for several more years. Hard-hit sectors across the country like tourism and hospitality had an impact in New York City, while population loss has also accelerated in the last three years.

The unemployment rate in New York in January ticked upward to 4.2%, while labor participation increased slightly from 60.4% to 60.5%, according to the state Department of Labor.