Thursday, May 05, 2011

Survey: Small Business Hiring in April "Disappointing"

by Bill McBride on 5/05/2011 05:43:00 PM

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) will release their April survey on Tuesday, May 10th. Here is a pre-release of the employment results from NFIB: NFIB Jobs Statement: Hiring Trends Inconsistent and Disappointing

“Four months into 2011, the trajectory for small-business hiring appears inconsistent and disappointing. February and March gave us some hope, but in April, the average number of net new jobs slipped from 0.17 per firm to 0.04. With fewer increases in new hires and more reports of shrinkage in workforces, we can expect the April job numbers to be a disappointment.

Drilling down into the (seasonally adjusted) numbers:
• 8 percent of those surveyed increased employment;
• 15 percent reduced employment; and,
• 14 percent reported unfilled job openings, down 1 point from last month.

“And the outlook for future employment growth remains unchanged from March: Only 16 percent plan to increase employment, and 6 percent plan to reduce their workforce, yielding a seasonally adjusted net 2 percent of owners planning to create new jobs in the next three months.
Small Business Hiring Plans Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the net hiring plans for the next three months.

Hiring plans were unchanged in April and still slightly positive.

Small businesses have a larger percentage of real estate and retail related companies than the overall economy. With the high percentage of real estate (including small construction companies), I expect small business hiring to remain sluggish for some time.

This is another somewhat disappointing employment indicator along with the ISM surveys, the ADP employment report and initial weekly claims.

The consensus for the April employment report is 185,000 with the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.8% (to be released tomorrow at 8:30 AM ET).