According to NFIB’s latest Jobs Report, June saw a dip in hiring and employment for small business owners, a likely response to inaction in Congress and the shortage of qualified workers.
June signaled a notable decline in hiring and employment for small businesses, according to the monthly NFIB Jobs Report released last week. The downturn is projected to be a response to uncertainty in Congress as well as the shortage of qualified workers.
“After last month’s surge in jobs activity, small business owners seem to be in a holding pattern while they wait to see what Congress will do with taxes and healthcare,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.
The amount of small businesses reducing employment rose by two points to 11 percent. Down by five points from last month, 10 percent of small business owners responded that they increased employment. Also down five points, 44 percent of owners reported hiring or attempting to hire last month.
A majority of small business owners, 85 percent, identified little to no qualified workers, and 15 percent reported the lack of qualified workers as their top concern.
Overall, the U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June, which signaled that the labor market was regaining momentum, according to Investor’s Business Daily. The unemployment rate was only slightly higher, at 4.4 percent, than its historic 16-year low last month, a result of more people joining the workforce. However, wage growth slowed, with hourly wages rising by only .2 percent, which was under the projected .3 percent.
Small businesses serve as a pulse on the U.S. economy and this month’s NFIB Jobs Report findings should not be ignored.
“Hiring activity remains strong by historical standards, but the drop in June was unmistakable,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Whether this is the start of a negative trend or a one-month blip is something we’ll have to keep an eye on.”