“The ability to find qualified applicants for available jobs continues to be a problem for many small business owners,” said the NFIB in a statement. “While firms have eased layoffs, they haven’t resumed strong hiring.”
A weak economic recovery has put the brakes on hiring, according to Sageworks, a financial information company. It asked 451 financial professionals why private companies were not ramping up hiring. Nearly 32 percent said their clients are not hiring because they are concerned about the economy in general, while another 22 percent say they are more risk averse since the last recession .
And others have learned how to be more efficient: 23 percent said their clients improved operations to the point where they had reduced the need to hire additional people.
“The whole idea of job creation is really about how business owners feel about their sales numbers,” said Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks. “They’re asking, ‘How are my sales? How are my profits right now? And about 12 months from now or 24 months from now, how do I think I’ll be doing? Right now, there’s this general anxiety as to what’s going to happen in the future.”
The NFIB is also guarded in its predictions for job growth, although somewhat more optimistic. “The April NFIB survey anticipates some strength in the job creation number with little change in the unemployment rate,” it said in a statement. “With job creation plans rebounding, the outlook is a bit more optimistic for the second quarter, but no 'barn burner' for job growth.”
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