Small business hiring plans inched upward in February, but continued improvements could be derailed by decisions on a minimum wage hike and future health care costs related to the Affordable Care Act. That’s the takeaway from the jobs data released today in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey.
“The small business employment outlook in February is a mixed bag,” said Holly Wade, senior policy analyst for the NFIB Research Foundation. “While actual employment declined slightly from January, hiring plans and job openings improved.”
Survey results showed:
• The number of jobs added by those hiring outpaces the number of jobs lost.
• The net percent of owners planning to hire improved one point in February, with four percent more owners planning to hire than those who are not.
• The percent of owners with a job opening gained three points in February to 21% – the highest reading since June 2008.
Wade said that overall, small business owners are looking for more certainty in consumer spending before investing in a new position and expanding their businesses – and proposals for a minimum wage hike and future healthcare costs associated with the Affordable Care Act aren’t helping.
“Many small business owners who might add entry level positions will likely wait and see what happens with the minimum wage,” Wade said.
Results of the full survey will be released Tuesday, March 12. More information can be found at www.nfib.com/research.
NFIB 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 their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through a 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 members to own, operate and grow their businesses. For more information visit NFIB online.
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