NFIB March Small Business Employment Report Finds Hiring Almost Flat
According to the latest NFIB Small Business Employment Report, in March few new jobs were added among the 727 small business owners surveyed. The month’s average employment change was positive, however the gain was just an average of “0.02 workers per firm.” Of those surveyed, 48% said they were hiring or attempting to hire in March. However, 41% of those attempting to hire said they had no applicants qualified for open positions. Overall, 9% of owners surveyed said they were planning to create new jobs, a one percentage point decline from February and a six percentage point decline from December. Roughly 22% of small business owners said they were increasing worker wages, a four percentage point increase.
Commenting on the report, NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “There was a slight uptick in March’s data, but small business owners are still not hiring at a sufficient pace. The numbers suggest that employment gains will continue to be modest and just enough to keep the unemployment rate steady.” He further pointed to the trend of owners not being able to find qualified workers, noting that March was yet another month when small business owners listed “finding qualified workers” as the third-biggest business problem behind taxes and government regulation. Dukelberg said of this result, “Workers are being disqualified for positions because of their social skills, appearance, and attitude as often as poor work history and a lack of specific skills.”
What This Means For Small Businesses
Dunkelberg projected that the NFIB small business hiring data indicated “the March jobs number will remain weak, close to the 200,000 mark with no progress on the unemployment rate.” This is hardly the good news small businesses have been looking for as they face economic uncertainty.
Bloomberg Business Radio also reports on the latest NFIB Small Business Employment Report data.
Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.