Wow, a new survey index result by the National Federation of Independent Businesses shows small businesses in the United States are a bunch of economic pessimists.
The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism lost 1.2 points in March, falling to 86.8. The persistence of index readings below 90 is unprecedented in survey history.
Unprecedented. 18 consecutive months of readings below 90.
This doesn't bode well for job creation. Small Business is the job engine of America. To find out the percentages of jobs created by small businesses, read this analysis post from October 2009.
While actual job reductions may have halted, plans to create new jobs remain weak. Over the next three months, 7 percent plan to reduce employment (down one point), and 15 percent plan to create new jobs (up two points), yielding a seasonally adjusted net negative 2 percent of owners planning to create new jobs, weaker than February and still more firms planning to cut jobs than planning to add. Only nine percent (seasonally adjusted) reported unfilled job openings, down two points and historically low, showing little hope for a lower unemployment rate.
Go to the website to read the rest of the report, but folks, instead of the focus always being on consumer confidence, maybe we need much more emphasis on employer confidence. If businesses are not seeing their sales uptick, they are not going hire more people.