WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2012 — Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on the August job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. The survey was conducted in August and reflects the responses of 736 sampled NFIB members:
“Essentially zero. That is the amount of job growth the small-business sector saw last month. The reported net change in employment per firm (seasonally adjusted) was actually -.05, which is a slight drop from July. Any serious job creation this year will have to come from large firms or new small firms created to meet the needs of millions of new consumers due to population growth. But existing small businesses are unlikely to expand before the election.
“Seasonally adjusted, 12 percent of owners surveyed reported adding an average of 2.7 workers per firm over the past three months, and 10 percent reduced employment an average of 2.5. The remaining 78 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Forty-nine (49) percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 37 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.
“A glimmer of hope, perhaps; the percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings rose 3 points to 18 percent of all owners. Job openings are highly correlated with the unemployment rate, so the August survey offers some hope of an improvement. But we won’t hold our breaths.
“Not seasonally adjusted, 13 percent of owners plan to increase employment at their firms (up 2 points), and nine percent plan reductions, unchanged from July. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners planning to create new jobs rose 5 points to 10 percent, a historically solid reading although not strong compared to recent expansions.
“Unfortunately for this administration, small-business job growth will most likely still be hovering around zero for the coming months—not a good place to be when seeking re-election.”