Small-Business Sentiment: Improves a Bit but Is No Sign of a Surge
The National Federation of Independent Business’ Optimism Index increased 1.4 points in May to 96.6, the highest reading since September 2007 and the third consecutive increase. The reading is still relatively low, and similar positive markers earlier in the recovery have failed to materialize. Employment rose in May a seasonally adjusted average of 0.11 workers per firm, the eighth positive month in a row and the best string of gains since 2006.
The remaining 77% of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-five percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months, and 46% reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.