Small Business Hiring Ticked Up Very Slightly in July

A lot of recent data has highlighted the fact that the continuing economic recovery seems to be boosting the fortunes of many small businesses in the past few months, and that has generally led to more hiring for these companies in particular. That trend certainly seems to have continued in the month of July.

In all, small business owners whose enterprises are a part of the National Federation of Independent Business said that they boosted employment by 0.01 employees per firm, or one worker for every 100 companies, according to the latest data from the NFIB. While this may not sound like much, it is nonetheless yet another period of positive movement in this regard, marking the 10th straight month in which hiring ticked up at least a little bit. That’s the longest stretch observed since 2006, before the onset of the economic downturn.

In addition, when adjusting for seasonal effects, 13 percent of owners say that they’ve brought aboard some 2.9 workers per company over the last few months of gains, the report said. That’s up from one percentage point in June. But at the same time, nearly as many (12 percent) reduced employment by an average of 2.7 percent, though that number was down from 13 percent who reported drops in the previous month.

More data
In addition, 75 percent of NFIB owners noted they made no change in employment in July, the report said. But that number was higher than many would have liked, as 53 percent of those polled said they’ve either succeeded in hiring someone in the last three months, or at least tried to do so. One big hindrance, though, was that some 42 percent of entrepreneurs said they simply couldn’t find enough qualified applicants to fill their open positions.

“Twenty-four percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (down 2 points) but a solid reading,” said William Dunkelberg, chief economist for the NFIB. “Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, up a point.”

Owners who want to put their companies in the best possible position to bring aboard new workers might want to consider the ways in which they can reduce expenses to do so. That might include finding more affordable small business insurance coverage – including policies for commercial insurance – to potentially save thousands of dollars annually.