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 September 2015 and reflects the responses of 556 sampled NFIB members.
Reported Small Business Job Creation Returns to Best Level of Year
NFIB September Jobs Report Gains 0.05 from previous readings
NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s September 2015 Jobs Report:
“According to our monthly survey, September showed a solid improvement in hiring activity,” Dunkelberg said. “We should expect a major upward revision in August’s BLS number because there was no evidence in NFIB’s data that job creation slacked off sharply from June and July.
“Overall, September was on par with historically solid numbers. The unemployment rate will remain steady around 5 percent.
“Reported job creation returned to its best level of the year, with owners adding a net 0.18 workers per firm in recent months, up 0.05 from August. Thirteen percent (down 5 points but historically strong) reported increasing employment an average of 2.9 workers per firm while 8 percent (unchanged) reported reducing employment an average of 2.6 workers per firm. Overall, a solid improvement in hiring activity. The BLS and the state employment agencies must have been on vacation in August, expect a major upward revision in that number. There was no evidence in the NFIB data that job creation slacked off sharply from June and July, each with 245,000 jobs.
“Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 3 points), but 45 percent (85 percent of those trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fourteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 1 point after a cumulative 3 percentage point decline over the past few months.
“Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 2 points from the highest reading for this year.
“A net 12 percent plan to create new jobs, down 1 point. Historically this is a solid number and supportive of positive job creation.
“The Federal Reserve decided that doing nothing was the best thing job growth even though the evidence suggests that the Fed can’t impact employment significantly. Or maybe their decision was based on “global concerns” or to make LeGarde and the World Bank happy along with all of the equity traders. Who knows. None-the-less, Chairman Yellen put “jobs” at the top of her policy priority list. Meanwhile, banks can only lend to the best borrowers at the Fed’s low rate structure and savers aren’t interested in lending their money without decent returns. Trillions of dollars of low yield Treasury securities issued over the past seven years guarantee sub-par returns to savers and investors for the next decade. Interest income is billions below what “normal” rates would deliver and the Fed continues to hoard trillions of dollars in riskless securities that the market would love to have. Cheap money induces investors to make investments that wouldn’t pass muster in a normal economy. Not a helpful set of outcomes.
“A seasonally adjusted net 23 percent of owners reported raising worker compensation, unchanged and just 2 points below the expansion high reading reached in January and May. The net percent planning to increase compensation was unchanged a net 13 percent, still historically strong for this recovery. The percent of owners citing the difficulty of finding qualifed workers as their “Single Most Important Business Problem” rose 2 points to 16 percent, the highest reading since 2007. Finding qualified workers now ranks #3 on the list behind taxes and regulations. This suggests that employers will face continued wage pressure in order to attract and keep good employees.
“But, the economy continues to grow, not strongly but solid. This will support the creation of 230,000 jobs. Not a great number compared to the 1983-90 recovery of a much smaller economy, but still positive. The unemployment rate will remain steady around 5 percent.”
Results of the full survey will be released on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.