NFIB Jobs Statement: Ho-Hum Hiring in the Small Business Sector

Date: September 02, 2014

NFIB Jobs Statement: Ho-Hum Hiring in the Small Business Sector
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Hoffman, 202-314-2054 or [email protected]

NFIB Jobs Statement: Ho-Hum Hiring in the Small Business Sector

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 2, 2014 — Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on August’s job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. The survey was conducted in August and reflects the responses of  598 sampled NFIB members:              


“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.02 workers per firm in August (seasonally adjusted), the 11th positive month in a row but basically a “zero” net gain.  Small business owners aren’t adding much to the job growth statistics.  Seasonally adjusted, 13 percent of the owners (unchanged) reported adding an average of 3.4 workers per firm over the past few months.  Offsetting that, 9 percent reduced employment (down 3 points) an average of 3.2 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.02 workers per firm overall, hardly different from flat even, but still positive.  The large reduction in the percent of owners reporting reductions in employment is a welcome development.

The remaining 78 percent of owners made no net change in employment.  Fifty-six percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 46 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions. 

Twenty-six percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 2 points, suggesting no change or a modest reduction in the unemployment rate.  Sixteen percent reported using temporary workers, up a point and up 2 points over the past two months.

Hiring plans faded however, suggesting weaker job creation ahead. The net percent of owners planning to increase employment fell 3 points to a seasonally adjusted net 10 percent. Historically, this is not associated with periods of strong employment growth.

The economy grew at a 1.1 percent rate in the first half, so not a lot of new workers were needed to produce such a small gain in output. July and August have not been gangbuster months either, so the need for more workers in general is not a pressing matter for small business owners.  Outside of healthcare where the government has a heavy hand, it is hard to see where there might be a lot of strength in hiring.”


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

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