A net 12 percent of small business owners plan to add jobs in the next three months, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ latest monthly survey of its members.
That’s not a lot, but its the highest job creation total for small businesses since September 2007.
In January, NFIB members increased employment by an average of 0.12 workers. That was half December’s pace, “but a solid number,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.
He expects the economy’s overall job creation number to be below 200,000 for January, however. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will report that number Friday morning.
“GDP growth will probably be sluggish in the first quarter and consequently job creation will remain muted,” Dunkelberg said.
Small businesses would hire more workers if they could find qualified applicants, he said. Nearly half of the NFIB members surveyed tried to hire workers last month, but 83 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.
NFIB will report full results of its January economic survey on Tuesday.
- Kent Hoover | Washington Bureau Chief
- Feb 6, 2014