Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Small Business Optimism Index increased in August

by Bill McBride on 9/11/2018 08:33:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): August 2018 Report: Small Business Optimism Index

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index soared to 108.8 in August, a new record in the survey’s 45-year history, topping the July 1983 highwater mark of 108.
..
After posting significant gains in employment in July, job creation slowed among small firms in August, perhaps because there were fewer workers available to hire because job openings hit a 45 year record high. Fifteen percent (down 2 points) reported increasing employment an average of 3.2 workers per firm and 10 percent (down 1 point) reported reducing employment an average of 2.4 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted). Sixty-two percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 3 points), but 55 percent (up 3 points and 89 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. A record 25 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 2 points). Thirty-eight percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, a new survey record high.
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 108.8 in August.

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.