WASHINGTON, D.C., April 2, 2014 — Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on the March job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The survey was conducted in March and reflects the responses of 685 sampled NFIB members:
THIS REPORT TEXT COMPARES MARCH FINDINGS TO FEBRUARY FIGURES. CHARTS ARE QUARTERLY.
“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.18 workers per firm in March (seasonally adjusted), an improvement over February’s 0.11 reading and the sixth positive month in a row. Seasonally adjusted, 11 percent of the owners (down 1 point) reported adding an average of 2.6 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 12 percent reduced employment (up 2 points) an average of 2.1 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.18 workers per firm overall. While there could still be lingering winter effects in the data, some of the best job producing areas, the Southwest, West and Florida, did not have weather problems and still delivered mediocre growth ratings.
“The remaining 77 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Forty-nine percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 41 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.
“Twenty-two percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (unchanged). This suggests that the unemployment rate did not change much in March. Thirteen percent reported using temporary workers, unchanged from February.
“Job creation plans softened further in February, falling 2 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted net 5 percent compared to 12 percent in January.
“Overall first quarter GDP growth is looking pretty slow (under 2 percent) with weather and pessimistic consumers and business owners all taking a toll on spending growth. As long as Washington continues to flounder and create uncertainty the economy will follow suit.”
Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation's leading small-business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB's powerful network of grassroots activists sends its views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America's free enterprise system. NFIB's mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.