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 August 2015 and reflects the responses of 656 sampled NFIB members.

Job Creation Back to Historically Solid Position

After slow summer readings, NFIB’s August jobs report shows improvement 

NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s August 2015 Jobs Report:

Bill "Dunk" Dunkelberg
NFIB Chief Economist
William Dunkelberg

“Job creation picked up in August as the economy left a lousy first quarter behind. Still, growth for this year is still running at the same sluggish 2 percent pace. On balance, owners added a net 0.13 workers per firm in recent months better than July’s 0.05 reading and historically a solid position. Eighteen percent (up 6 points) reported increasing employment an average of 3.0 workers per firm while 8 percent (down 4 points) reported reducing employment an average of 3.4 workers per firm. Overall, August was a large improvement in hiring activity.

“Fifty-six percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 5 points), but 48 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 1 point after a 2 percentage point decline last month.

“Twenty-nine percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 4 points, regaining the highest reading for this year. This strong a gain sets the stage for a decline in the unemployment rate and indicates that labor markets remain tight with owners having difficulty finding qualified workers.

Small business jobs data for August 2015

“A net 13 percent plan to create new jobs, up 1 point after a 3 point gain last month. Not seasonally adjusted, 16 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (unchanged), and 9 percent plan reductions (up 2 points). Regionally, job creation plans were strongest in the West Central states, where the decline in oil prices had its strongest impact. Apparently, business conditions have started to improve.

Job creation plan numbers - August 2015

“A seasonally adjusted net 23 percent of owners reported raising worker compensation, unchanged and 2 points below the expansion high reading reached in January and May. The net percent planning to increase compensation fell 2 points to a net 13 percent but still historically strong for this recovery. The NFIB job openings and the rising percent of owners reporting finding qualified labor as their top buisness problem which is up 1 point to 14 percent, indicate that labor markets are getting tighter. However, the spread between rising labor costs and increases in prices is huge and can’t continue without substantial damange to profitability.

Small businesses can't find qualified workers

“Overall, August’s NFIB labor statistics were solidly better than July. Job creation numbers should come in at 250,000 or better, with the potential for a reduction in the unemployment rate unless labor force participation picks up substantially.”


Results of the full survey will be released on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

Unemployment Overview:

August Jobs Numbers

Growth Picture:

August job numbers



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