Small businesses experience slower hiring

As the U.S.' job situation improves, small-business hiring lags behind, according to The Washington Post. Small businesses added few net jobs in January.

Hiring at small businesses fell by 0.2 percent in January, and paycheck sizes were relatively flat. Out of five U.S. regions, only southern states experienced increases in small-business hiring and salaries. This contrasts with January jobs data for the U.S.—payrolls rose by 243,000, and the unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 8.3 percent.

Additionally, the National Federation of Independent Business reported the net change in employment per small firm was zero in January. Eleven percent of owners added an average of three workers per firm during the past few months, and 11 percent reduced employment an average of 2.9 workers per firm.

However, revenues at private companies—most of which are small businesses—rose between 6 and 8 percent during 2011. In fact, private revenue has increased during the past 18 months.

Brandt Leahy, senior analyst for Sageworks, a financial information company, says the future of small-business hiring is uncertain.

"It's been different after each recession," Leahy says. "Private business owners need to forecast a year in advance, so any uncertainty in the political landscape could affect them."

Date : 2/10/2012