Confidence is growing among small business owners.
Under the new administration’s first full month, job numbers are growing—and so is optimism.
Job openings hit their highest mark since December 2000, according to NFIB’s latest Jobs Report. But while small businesses are feeling more confident, many are struggling to find qualified workers: 52 percent of owners said they were hiring or trying to hire, but 44 percent said they found few or no qualified applicants.
“The post-election optimism we’ve seen among small businesses has led to more job openings,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The only thing missing is qualified applicants.”
More private sector jobs were added in February than any other month over the past year, according to a recent release from ADP. Under the first full month of the Trump presidency, around 298,000 jobs were added, more than 30,000 jobs more than were added in January.
Economists surveyed by ADP were expecting tepid job growth, estimating that only around 190,000 jobs were going to be added, according to CNBC. The February numbers smashed those reports—with many of the gains coming from small businesses.
ADP’s full report shows that businesses with between one and 49 employees added a third of the total jobs overall, increasing employment by 104,000. This suggests that small businesses are confident right now, which mostly tracks with NFIB’s February 2017 Jobs Report.
ADP’s research found that the employment gains were a result of a surge in the goods sector and an increase in the information industry.
“February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
The optimistic reports could lead to the Fed raising interest rates soon, CNBC reported.