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 November and reflects the responses of 615 sampled NFIB members.

Dec. 2014 Small Business Jobs Statement from NFIB’s Chief Economist:
Job Creation Inches Up, Job Openings Indicates Strength

Data also finds that 45 percent of small firms had a tough time finding qualified workers

NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s December 2014 Jobs Report:

Bill "Dunk" Dunkelberg
NFIB Chief Economist
William Dunkelberg

“Job creation improved a bit from the previous month and is now back in positive territory. That’s mildly good news for the economy but nothing really to celebrate. On the downside, the net percent of owners reporting that they increased employment fell slightly.

“A more hopeful indication of strength may be the percentage of owners who reported job openings. For the second consecutive month nearly a quarter say they have at least one job opening they are not able to currently fill. That’s a historically solid number, and coupled with a small improvement in hiring plans, it appears that small businesses anticipate some growth.

According to the survey, 53 percent of small firms hired or tried to hire last month but 45 percent reported finding few or no qualified workers.

“Overall, the average increase in employees per firm was 0.05 workers per firm, up from 0 in October. In positive territory even if small. However, the percent of owners reporting job creation fell 1 point from October to a net 2 percent of owners. Twelve percent report increasing employment an average of 3.6 workers while 10 percent reduced their workforce by an average of 3.3 workers (seasonally adjusted). Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire, but 45 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, up 1 point.

Small business jobs data for November 2014

Twenty-four percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, unchanged from October and a historically solid reading. Job Openings is highly correlated (inversely) with the unemployment rate. November’s reading anticipates no deterioration and possible a slightly lower rate.

Unfilled job openings at small businesses in November 2014

“Job creation plans improved 1 point to a seasonally adjusted net 11 percent. Not a lot of strength in that number but consistent with steady growth in employment.

Small business job creation date in Nov. 2014

“GDP growth for Q3 was surprisingly revised up to 3.9 percent, a very strong reading. However, much of that was due to export growth and increased inventory accumulation, not strength in spending on Main Street. Not many jobs were created by all that growth, certainly not by small businesses.”

Results of the full survey will be released on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.


NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg on the October 2014 jobs numbers

To interview NFIB's chief economist Bill Dunkelberg, please contact Jack Mozloom at 609-462-5610 or


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