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 January and reflects the responses of 1,663 sampled NFIB members.
Small Business Jobs Statement from NFIB’s Chief Economist:
Hiring Activity Remains Solid, Although Not as Good as December
Job creation fell slightly while cuts remained historically low
NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s January 2015 Jobs Report:
“The percent of owners reporting job creation fell 4 percentage points to a net 5 percent of owners, which despite the decline is still a historically solid number. December was, for some reason, just “hot”. The percent of owners cutting jobs remained historically low, so initial claims for unemployment will continue to wobble around the 300,000 mark. Overall, the average increase in workers per firm was 0.16 workers per firm, down a bit from December’s strong reading of 0.20. Thirteen percent report increasing employment an average of 3.1 workers while 8 percent reduced their workforce by an average of 3.2 workers Forty-eight percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 6 points), but 42 percent (88 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fourteen percent reported using temporary workers, unchanged.
“Twenty-six percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 1 point and a very solid reading. An increase in the unemployment is unlikely, even with improvement in labor force participation rate as the job market is showing signs of tightening and vacancies are high.
“The net percent of owners planning to create new jobs (hire more than the let go) gave up 1 point from December’s excellent reading, providing evidence that the December number was not a fluke. A net 14 percent planning to create new jobs is a strong reading. Not seasonally adjusted, 20 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (up 2 points), and 5 percent plan reductions (down 3 points). With weaker top line sales for large firms (due to the strong dollar and lower exports), employment gains may be shifting to the small business sector.
“The first “guess” at Q4 GDP growth was 2.6 percent. These first readings have been so far off the mark that the BEA should consider abandoning the preliminary reading and just wait until more of the data are in, my opinion. But, the markets like to have numbers to bet on. How many really look at the revisions to the payroll data reports? We build models using revised “true” data and try to forecast BEA and BLS first guesses. Maybe we should build models predicting the first guess using first reported data, not final figures. All that complaining aside, it appears that the economy is still trudging ahead, so job growth will continue to plod forward, there wont be much change in the unemployment rate (from job creation anyway) and the monthly jobs number should be around 230,000 (first guess).”
Results of the full survey will be released on Tuesday, February 10, 2015.