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 April 2017 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.
Soaring optimism since November is sparking activity among small employers,
NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s April 2017 Jobs Report:
Small employers’ confidence in the future of the U.S. economy is stimulating employment growth in the small business sector, according to the NFIB April Jobs Report released today.
“The small business community is creating jobs again,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “They are energized by the prospect of better federal policies on taxes, health care, and regulations.”
Small business owners reported a seasonally adjusted average employment change of 0.19 workers per firm in April, a very strong reading. Fifty-five percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, up four points. Forty-eight percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Those citing the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem remained unchanged at 16 percent.
“More small business owners were able to increase employment in April, which is a positive sign for the U.S. economy,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “However, they still face an extremely tight labor market and are struggling to find qualified workers to fill open positions.”
Thirty-three percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up three points and the highest reading since November 2000. Reports of compensation increases faded two points, but remain historically strong.
“The scarcity of qualified applicants and the increased pressure to raise compensation is very frustrating to small employers,” said Dunkelberg. “They’re often competing with bigger businesses which have additional resources to attract and retain more qualified employees.”
A seasonally adjusted net 16 percent of owners plan to create new jobs, which is unchanged from March and a very strong reading. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index has sustained historically high readings since the November election. NFIB says the spike in optimism is directly related to the promise of policy changes from Washington. Duggan suggested that Washington focus on the very policies that have strangled job creation for the last decade, including high and complex taxes, overregulation, and the Affordable Care Act.
“As Congress and the White House negotiate health care and tax reform in the coming weeks, they must remember that both start with small business,” said Duggan. “Our members will be paying close attention, and our data will reflect the actions of those in Washington.”
The full Small Business Economic Trends report will be released on Tuesday, May 9th
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