Survey: Most Small Businesses Won’t Be Hiring Despite Being Understaffed

by Kristen Elia

A dubious recovery will be keeping small-business owners from adding more employees in the coming months, even though many report that their businesses are understaffed.

According to the Associated Press, a new TD Bank poll of more than 500 small-business owners indicates that 70 percent of respondents will maintain their current employment levels, while only 21 percent said they plan on hiring new workers in the coming months:

Small businesses employ about half of all U.S. workers, so the survey findings don’t bode well for a pickup in the pace of hiring by the private sector.

The U.S. gained an average of only 75,000 jobs in the April — June quarter, after averaging 226,000 in the first three months of the year. The slowdown in job growth has come as the U.S. economy continues to plod along at a sluggish pace, stoking concerns that employers may be holding back on plans to hire more workers.

With the coming jobs report from scheduled for this Friday, all indications point to similarly disappointing numbers for July.

According to the TD Bank survey, the majority of small-business owners are not optimistic about how the U.S. economy will fare in the next six months. Rising health-care and insurance costs were the most disconcerting issue for 27 percent of businesses, while revenue worries rang in at 23 percent. 

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