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Small-Business Optimism Rises

NFIB News Release (05/12/15)

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Survey rose 1.7 points from March to 96.9 in April, a decent month-to-month reading but overall still below the historical average. Small businesses posted another decent month of job creation. Those that hired were more aggressive than those reducing employment, producing an average increase of 0.14 workers per firm, continuing a string of solid readings for 2015. Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up three points), but 44% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirteen percent reported using temporary workers, up three points. Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up three points from March. A net 11% plan to create new jobs, up one point and a solid reading.

“Small-business owners are still wary of the future, and that’s most evident when we asked them about future sales,” says Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist. “The little economic growth we do see is coming mostly from small businesses. Solid economic growth would require good performance from both big and small firms and that will likely be elusive this year.”