Jobs Report

NFIB Small Business Jobs Report

The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The survey was conducted in May 2016 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.

Small Business Optmism Brightens In May

NFIB data shows higher demand for qualified workers.

NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s May 2016 Jobs Report:

Bill "Dunk" Dunkelberg
NFIB Chief Economist
William Dunkelberg

The small business employment outlook was positive in May with job creation, job openings, hiring plans, and compensation increasing.

“Overall the report improved only modestly, but there are some reasons for longer-term optimism,” said NFIB Chief Economist William C. Dunkelberg.  “This month’s report was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary economic recovery.”

Reported job creation during the month of May crept up to 0.03 workers per firm.  That’s an improvement over the April report, which was negative.  More small business owners also reported that they are raising compensation, including higher pay and more benefits. In fact, the NFIB survey shows that compensation reports are at the highest level since 2007.

Hiring activity among small business owners increased and more owners said that they plan to create new jobs. However, among those trying to fill a position, a large percentage, 48 percent, reported difficulty finding qualified applicants. Thirteen percent of owners listed “finding qualified workers” as their Single Most Important Business Problem. Interestingly, temporary employment also continued to rise. 

NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said that the proliferation of labor-related rules at the federal and state levels, like minimum wage and paid leave mandates, is a high concern for small business owners.  That, she said, could be why more owners are bringing on temporary workers instead of permanent employees.  

“What we hear very often from our members is that government mandates make it harder to bring on permanent workers and that could be what we’re seeing here,” Duggan said.  “Small businesses will continue to look for ways to be more efficient in order to pay for these bad economic policies.”

Based on the NFIB Jobs Report data for May, Dunkelberg predicted that the May federal jobs number will show a better performance, coming in above 200,000 with the unemployment rate likely unchanged. 

NFIB’s May Jobs Report is based on the NFIB monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey. The survey was conducted in May and reflects the response of 700 small businesses. The full Small Business Economic Trends report will be released on Tuesday, June 14th.

Results of the full survey will be released on Tuesday, June 14th.



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Employment Outlook:





Jobs Report May 2016 from NFIB


Contact Kelly Klass:

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