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After Two Steps Backward in June, Small-Business Optimism Takes One Step Forward in July

NFIB News Release (08/11/15)

The Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.3 points to 95.4 in July. After giving up over 4 points in June, the index clawed back 1.3 points in July, a familiar theme now, which has produced the most grudging gains in the index’s history—and still not above the 42 year average of 98.

Job creation was flat in July. Small-business owners added a net 0.05 workers per firm in recent months, better than June’s -0.01 reading, but still close to zero. Fifty-seven percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 5 points), but 48% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Sixteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 2 points. Twenty-five percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 1 point, but 4 points below the highest reading for this year. A net 12% plan to create new jobs, up 3 points and reversing last month’s loss.