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April 02, 2003
Fewer Small Businesses Plan on Hiring in Upcoming Months
A recent survey found that hiring has dipped to the lowest level in ten years at the nation's small businesses, which do a bulk of the new hiring, USA Today reports.

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The newspaper reports 6 percent of small firms - those with 500 or fewer employees - plan to hire in the next three months, according to a recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group. It's the lowest figure since 1993. Three months ago, 12 percent reported they planned on hiring.

USA Today notes that the 5.8 million small businesses reportedly generate as much as 75 percent of new jobs.

The financial trouble of larger firms could be trickling down to affect smaller firms, according to USA Today. When the larger firms pull back on spending and ordering, the smaller firms feel it.

Economic and political uncertainties impact hiring plans as well, according to the newspaper. The floundering economy and war in Iraq can make business owners jittery about adding staff.

Bill Dunkelberg, Chief economist at NFIB, tells the newspaper that poor weather in February could have affected firms' view on hiring. Despite a war in Iraq and signs of a shaky economy, hiring should rebound, he says.

"As long as the war stays over there, life goes on here," Dunkelberg says.

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