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Small-Business Optimism Rises in May

NFIB News Release (06/09/15)

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Survey increased 1.4 points to 98.3 with six of the 10 index components increasing. May is the best reading since the 100.4 December reading. However, the index remained in a holding pattern, a few points below the prerecession average and showing no tendency to break out into a stronger pattern of economic growth.

Small businesses posted another decent month of job creation in May, a string of five solid months of job creation. On balance, owners added a net 0.13 workers per firm over the past few months. Fourteen percent reported raising employment, on average 2.7 workers per firm, while 12% reported reducing employment, on average 3.0 workers per firm. Fifty-five percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up two points), but 47% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirteen percent reported using temporary workers. Twenty-nine percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up two points and the highest reading since April 2006.