Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Small Business Optimism Index Increased in January, "Difficulty of finding qualified workers" is Top Problem

by Bill McBride on 2/13/2018 08:57:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Record Number of Small Business Owners Say ‘Now is Good Time to Expand’

The Index of Small Business Optimism gained 2.0 points in January, rising to 106.9, again one of the strongest readings in the 45-year history of the NFIB surveys. The highest reading of 108.0 was reached in July 1983 and the lowest reading of 79.7 occurred in April 1980.

Job creation was solid in the small-business sector as owners reported a seasonally adjusted average employment change per firm of 0.23 workers, a strong showing. The lack of “qualified” workers is impeding growth in employment. ... Twenty-two percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 3 points), exceeding the percentage citing taxes or the cost of regulation as their top business problem.
emphasis added
Small Business Optimism Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986.

The index increased to 106.9 in December.

Note: Usually small business owners complain about taxes and regulations.  However, during the recession, "poor sales" was the top problem.

Now the difficulty of finding qualified workers is the top problem.