Just one-third of small businesses are purposefully interviewing, recruiting, or hiring new workers this year, according to a new poll. A lack of potential employees may be to blame.

"Many have given up on actively recruiting new workers as it's too hard to find skilled and experienced workers for their open positions," Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. The Chamber released the results of the poll on Wednesday, in conjunction with MetLife.

Among businesses looking for workers, less than half--44 percent--said it was easy to find potential hires with the skills they need, while just 47 percent said that it was easy to find talent nearby. 

Other entrepreneurs attribute the labor shortage to gaps in employee engagement and compensation. In the new poll, 24 percent of business owners said they want to increase wages after the pandemic.

The difficult environment for hiring can result in a considerable extra burden for business owners: 54 percent of respondents who reported they were trying to hire, but were struggling with the process, said they were working more hours to cope with staffing shortages. 

The fallout from the pandemic remains a common worry among business owners, according to the poll. Sixty-two percent reported they were concerned about the future of their businesses, and the same percentage said that they were concerned about its impact on employee health. 

The survey covered U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Conducted online in June by research firm Ipsos, it is part of a new series of surveys on topics relevant to small business owners.