A strong economy continues to fuel record levels of optimism among small business owners, according to the latest survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, with high demand for hiring stated as the No. 1 concern.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism index came in at 104.4 in December, virtually unchanged at -0.4 less than November’s record high.
“Optimism among small business owners continues to push record highs, but they need workers to generate more sales, provide services, and complete projects, said NFIB President Juanita D. Duggan. “Two of every three of these new jobs are historically created by the small business half of the economy, so it will be Main Street that will continue to drive economic growth.”
Actual hiring is at the highest level in six months, but open positions are also at a record high levels. A full 60 percent of owners are hiring, and 39% have openings they could not fill. A record 35 percent of small businesses said they increase compensation in December, and 24 percent planned increases in the next few months.