NFIB Jobs Statement: Not Much Hiring, but Job Creation Plans Hold onto Positive Ground

Date: February 06, 2014

NFIB Jobs Statement: Not Much Hiring, but Job Creation Plans Hold onto Positive Ground

www.NFIB.com
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Hoffman, 202-314-2054 or Kelly.Hoffman@nfib.org

NFIB Jobs Statement: Not Much Hiring, but Job Creation Plans Hold onto Positive Ground

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2014Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on the January job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. The survey was conducted in January and reflects the responses of 1864 sampled NFIB members:              

THIS REPORT TEXT COMPARES JANUARY FINDINGS TO DECEMBER FIGURES. CHARTS ARE QUARTERLY.

“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.12 workers per firm in January (seasonally adjusted), half the December reading, but a solid number.  Seasonally adjusted, 13 percent of the owners (down 1 point) reported adding an average of 3.7 workers per firm over the past few months.  Offsetting that, 11 percent reduced employment (up 1 point) an average of 3.3 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.12 workers per firm overall.  This would suggest net new jobs will be below 200,000 again. The remaining 76 percent of owners made no net change in employment. 

“The ability to find qualified applicants for available jobs continues to plague the small-business community. Forty-six percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 38 percent (83 percent of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions. 

“Twenty-two percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (down 1 point).  This suggests that the unemployment rate did not change much in January.  Fourteen percent reported using temporary workers, unchanged from December.

“Job creation plans rose 4 points to a net 12 percent. This is the best reading since September 2007.  Not seasonally adjusted, 18 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (up 5 points), and 5 percent plan reductions (down 5 points). Construction firms led the job creation parade while retailing was the least positive, but (not seasonally adjusted) job creation plans were positive in all industry sectors. Economic growth was much stronger in the second half of 2013, although annual growth was only 1.9% compared to 2.8% in 2012.  A lot of the growth came from inventory accumulation, which suggests that this will be reversed in the first half of 2014. 

“Looking forward, weather will be a big factor, data is always seasonally adjusted, but when the weather is “abnormal” as it has been, seasonal adjustments will be off the mark.  GDP growth will probably be sluggish in the first quarter and consequently job creation will remain muted, less than 200,000.”

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Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small-business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends its views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

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