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 February and reflects the responses of 716 sampled NFIB members.
Small Business Jobs Statement from NFIB’s Chief Economist:
Small Business Hiring Remains Solid in February
NFIB Jobs Report shows steady job creation in small business sector
NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s February 2015 Jobs Report:
“The percent of owners reporting an increase in employment fell 1 percentage points to a net 4 percent of owners, a solid number. The percent of owners cutting jobs rose 3 points to 11 percent while the percent increasing employment gained 2 points to 15 percent. This suggests that initial claims for unemployment might run a bit higher but the jobs numbers will also improve. Overall, the average increase in workers per firm was 0.16 workers per firm, unchanged from January’s solid reading. Those increasing employment added an average of 3.4 workers while those reducing their workforce cut an average of 2.9 positions. Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 5 points), but 47 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twelve percent reported using temporary workers, down 2 points.
“Twenty-nine percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 3 points and the highest reading since March 2006. This strong of a reading anticipates a further reduction in the unemployment rate. A net 12 percent are planning to create new jobs, down 2 points but a solid reading.
“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.
“GDP growth in 2014 Q4 was revised down to 2.2 percent from the initial estimate of 2.6 percent. This is a substantial slowdown from the mid-2014 pace. Consumer spending was still fairly solid in Q4 but has shown little strength so far this year. Even so, the labor market indicators are showing very solid strength. The job openings figure is one of the highest in 40 years and this suggests that labor markets are tightening and that there will be more pressure on compensation in the coming months. The monthly job report has been significantly revised each month recently and the revisions have been positive. But winter east of the Mississippi has not been conducive to growth and increased employment. All this considered, the NFIB data anticiipate a solid number but short of the 300,000 average of the past few months.”
Results of the full survey will be released on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.