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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 latest survey is based on 762 respondents to the November survey of a random sample of NFIB’s member firms.
NFIB's chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on the November 2013 job numbers:
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NFIB Chief Economist
“The small business hiring trend stayed positive in November, but that is as good at it gets. While NFIB owners increased employment last month, it was only by an average of 0.05 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted), half the October figure, and historically low. Seasonally adjusted, 14% of the owners (up 2 points) reported adding an average of 3.7 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 12% reduced employment (up 3 points) an average of 3.4 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted gain of 0.05 workers per firm overall. The remaining 74% of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-one percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 44% (86% of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions, the highest reading since October 2007.
“Reports of workforce reductions remained historically low, although 3 points higher than October’s record low level of 9%. More firms reported job creation, but still historically low. The ‘difference’ between these two measures is new job creation. Even if job creation is steady (the same number per month), a decline in workforce reductions will produce an increase in payroll employment as well as a decline in the initial claims for unemployment.
“Twenty-three percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (up 2 points), a positive signal for the unemployment rate and the highest reading since January 2008. Thirteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 2 points from October.
“Job creation plans gained 4 points, rising to 9%, reversing the loss posted in October. Not seasonally adjusted, 13% plan to increase employment at their firm (up 2 points), and 11% plan reductions (down 1 point). Manufacturing firms lead the job creation parade with a net 12% planning to increase employment followed by a net 10% in Professional Services. All other industry groups were slightly positive or negative with the exception of Agriculture which was seasonally very negative, but a small part of the employment picture. Retail was flat at a net 0% planning to increase employment and Non-Professional Services, another major employment sector, only a net 2%. Manufacturing is ‘hot’ but how many jobs can we get.
“Overall, most of the employment indicators posted positive gains, indicating a somewhat better job creation figure and a lower unemployment rate reading. But this is not a lot of progress for this far into a recovery.”
Results of the full survey will be released Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM ET.
NFIB Small Business Economic Trends, November 2013
The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism lost 2.3 points to 91.6. Two components, the outlook for business conditions and the outlook for real sales gains, accounted for 52% of the Index decline. A weaker outlook for business produced dissatisfaction with inventory stocks, and fewer plans to create new jobs.
November 2013 Report
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