Not Hiring: Small Businesses Key To Economic Recovery

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At this point, the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, while in New Hampshire it's much lower, at 4.9 percent. Small business hiring is considered key to speeding-up the nation's economic recovery.

Today’s Boston Globe has an interesting take on the state of small business in the country.  Reporters Erin Ailworth and Katie Johnston write that small businesses make up more than half of all private sector employment in the country, but:

“The percentage of small-business owners feeling optimistic about the economy fell from 67 percent in a June survey, to 47 percent in July, according to the online payroll service SurePayroll…

The caution among small businesses in many ways reflects what is happening in the broader economy and labor market. Conditions have dramatically improved since the worst of the recession, when companies were laying off workers by the hundreds of thousands. That’s not happening anymore, but neither is the next step needed to drive the recovery forward: robust hiring.”

Later, they add this tidbit:

“Keith Hall, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal agency that tracks the job market, said US employers need to create about 130,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth and hold the unemployment rate steady. Last month, the nation added just 117,000 jobs, after adding about 50,000 in each of the previous two months.

‘Mostly it’s that we’ve just stopped losing jobs,’’ he said, “Unless we get record job growth, this [recovery] is going to take years.’’”

In New Hampshire, feelings about the small business economy are mixed.  Late last month, NHPR’s Amy Quniton reported on the Business and Industry Association’s recently released Consumer Confidence Index.

“The survey shows that 36-percent of NH consumers think local businesses will do well financially over the next year…

32-percent think they will experience bad economic times, and another 32-percent believe conditions will be mixed…

The survey also shows that New Hampshire adults are still pessimistic about the national economy, only 26-percent think the country will experience good times financially over the next 12 months.”

You can find out more about New Hampshire’s small business landscape here.

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