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NFIB Jobs Statement: Small Businesses Report Stronger Hiring, But Expectations Remain Muted
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2014 — Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on September’s job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. The survey was conducted in August and reflects the responses of 608 sampled NFIB members:
THIS REPORT TEXT COMPARES SEPTEMBER FINDINGS TO AUGUST FIGURES.
“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.24 workers per firm in September (seasonally adjusted), the twelfth positive month in a row and the largest gain this year. Seasonally adjusted, 13 percent of the owners (unchanged) reported adding an average of 3.7 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 10 percent reduced employment (up 1 point) an average of 2.4 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.24 workers per firm overall, an historically large figure. Reductions in employment are becoming less frequent and smaller, but it was a surge in hiring that produced a stronger net gain in employment.
“Fifty percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 42 percent (84 percent of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.
“Twenty-one percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 5 points, not a good sign for improvements in the unemployment rate. Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, down a point.
“Job creation plans also faded however, suggesting weaker job creation ahead. The net percent of owners planning to increase employment fell 1 point to a seasonally adjusted net 9 percent after a 3 point decline in August.
“The economy is expected to grow at a 3 percent annual rate in the second half, but even if achieved, annual growth for 2014 will be only about 2.2 percent. The September NFIB data anticipate new jobs in the low 200,000 range and an uptick in the unemployment rate. Reports of past hiring were very strong, suggesting a good jobs number, but job openings and job creation plans faded, casting a shadow over the job market outcomes.”
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Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small-business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends its views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.