Thursday, May 03, 2012

NFIB: Small Business hiring was weak in April, "Outlook improves"

by Bill McBride on 5/03/2012 04:25:00 PM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Job Creation Weakens in April but Prospects Improve

April was another tenuous month for small businesses, sending mixed signals about what the future holds.

“On the job creation front, the news was only fair. The net change in employment per firm (seasonally adjusted) came in at 0.1; this is down from March but still positive.
...
“The percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings rose 2 points to 17 percent, one point below the January 2012 reading which is the highest we’ve reported since June 2008. Hard-to-fill job openings are a strong predictor of the unemployment rate, making the gain in openings a welcome development. The net percent of owners planning to create new jobs is 5 percent, a 5 point increase after taking a plunge in March ...

“Overall, the April NFIB survey anticipates some strength in the job creation number with little change in the unemployment rate. With job creation plans rebounding, the outlook is a bit more optimistic for the second quarter ..."
Note: Small businesses have a larger percentage of real estate and retail related companies than the overall economy.

Small Business Hiring Plans Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business hiring plans index since 1986. Hiring plans increased in April with the index at 5% compared to 0% in March.

According to NFIB: “Not seasonally adjusted, 18 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (up 3 points), and 5 percent plan reductions (unchanged from March)." This is still very low.

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