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NFIB: Small-Business Optimism Index Declines in September

NFIB News Release (10/14/14)

September’s National Federation of Independent Business optimism index retreated 0.8 points, falling to 95.3, and is now 5.0 points below the pre-recession average. Two index components fell sharply—job openings and planned capital outlays—which are directly relevant to gross domestic product growth and hiring.

NFIB owners increased employment by a seasonally adjusted average of 0.24 workers per firm in September, the 12th positive month in a row and the largest gain this year. Fifty percent of owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months, and 42% reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions. Twenty-one percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 5.0 points, not a good sign for improvements in the unemployment rate. Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 1.0 point. Job creation plans faded, suggesting weaker job creation ahead.