More than 90 per cent of NSW businesses are experiencing staff shortages after the pandemic drastically changed the nine-to-five grind.
The 2022 Workforce Skills Survey, from peak body Business NSW, interviewed 600 businesses in May and June and found almost all had vacancies.
"The business community in NSW is facing its most significant workforce challenge in more than 50 years," Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter said.
"The survey results clearly indicate it is a whole of workforce issue".
Almost half of the businesses surveyed said it was equally difficult to fill entry level positions as experienced roles.
The report called on the federal government to increase the number of skilled migrants, reduce employer fees and cut visa processing times.
Mr Hunter also urged the government to encourage the return of more working holiday makers and students.
"We simply do not have the workers to meet the needs of our businesses and co-ordinated action is needed now to fill those gaps," he said.