Focus

The state of small business

In its recent survey of small businesses, CNNMoney.com reveals the sector is continuing to face acute hardships. More than one-third of small-business owners say their customers still are not buying freely, and only 14 percent hired more workers this year than they did in 2012. But nearly two-thirds haven't hired anyone during the past year.

Companies with fewer than 50 workers added 58,000 jobs in May, according to Chicago-based payroll-processing firm ADP, indicating small-business growth is declining.

Bill Dunkelberg, an economist with the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), told CNNMoney.com: "Owners are pessimistic about the future of the economy, and they're not making any bets customers will come in to generate extra revenue to pay for these workers."

On June 5, NFIB reported hiring among small businesses is at a standstill—9 percent of those surveyed hired 2.6 workers on average; 12 percent cut about three jobs; and 79 percent didn't change staff size.

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