New Hiring Froze in September

More small businesses shed employees in September than added new employees, according to the latest survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). The net change in seasonally adjusted employment per business fell 0.23%.

The NFIB's chief economist said:

Seasonally adjusted, 10 percent of the owners reported adding an average of 2.2 workers per firm over the past few months, and 14 percent reduced employment an average of 3 workers. The remaining 77 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-one (51) percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 41 percent (80 percent of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

The percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings fell 1 point to 17 percent of all owners. Not seasonally adjusted, 10 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (down 3 points), and 11 percent plan reductions (up 2 points). Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners planning to create new jobs fell 6 points to four percent, a historically weak reading, especially in a recovery.

The only area of the country will positive job growth in September was the West North Central region, where energy production is booming and unemployment rates are much lower than the national average of 8.1%.

The NFIB's September job report is scheduled for release on October 9th.

Paul Ausick

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