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After Six Months of Increases, Small-Business Optimism Drops for Main Street

NFIB Small-Business News (04/10/12)

The National Federation of Independent Business’
Small-Business Optimism Index dropped nearly two points to 92.5
in March, with nine of 10 index components—including
hiring—posting declines. However, the job creation
component of the index was the one bright spot, with 10% of
small-business owners surveyed adding 3.1 workers per firm on
average during the past few months on a seasonally adjusted
basis. About 44% of respondents hired or attempted to hire
workers, but 32% said there were few or no qualified applicants.
Although actual hiring figures indicated that March was the best
job creation month in a year, there are concerns about weakness
in the job market given that the percentage of owners with
hard-to-fill job openings and those expecting to boost the number
of employees decreased.