NFIB News Release (07/14/15)
The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index dropped 4.2 points this month to 94.1, well below the prerecession average of 99.5. Nine of the 10 components dropped, and one was unchanged from May.
“June terminated a promising string of improvements in owner optimism during the first months of the year,” says Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist. “While it is not a disaster or a signal of a looming recession, it is a disappointing sign that economic growth on Main Street is not set for a strong second half of growth. The weakness was substantial across the board, showing no signs of a growth spurt in the near future.”
Small-business owners added a net -0.01 workers per firm in recent months. Ten percent reported increasing employment, an average of 3.2 workers per firm, while 12% reported reducing employment, an average of 3.3 workers per firm. Fifty-two percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 3 points), but 44% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Eighteen percent reported using temporary workers, up 5 points. Twenty-four percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 5 points, after reaching the highest level since April 2006 in February. A net 9% plan to create new jobs, down 3 points and the lowest reading since September 2014.