NFIB News Release (07/10/12)
In a disappointing reversal of several months of slow but positive growth, the National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism dove three points in June, falling to 91.4. The decline is significant, and relinquished the gains achieved earlier this year. Only one of the 10 index components improved; labor market indicators and spending plans for capital equipment and inventories accounted for about 40% of the decline.
Posting the first negative reading since December, the net change in employment per firm over the past few months (seasonally adjusted) was -0.11. Seasonally adjusted, 9% of the owners surveyed added an average of 2.6 workers per firm over the past few months, and 12% reduced employment by an average of 2.8 workers. Forty-four percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 33% reported few or no qualified applicants for positions. The percentage of owners reporting hard-to-fill job openings declined five points, falling to 15% of all owners.