Small businesses still face a number of challenges, the National Federation of Independent Business' latest survey shows. But hiring at the nation's small firms may be improving – good news for young people looking for a change in their employment situation.
According to the NFIB, a net negative 3 percent of small business owners indicated that they had plans to hire in September, meaning that small-company payrolls were shrinking. In October, though, a net 1 percent of small companies said they plan to hire new employees in the next three months.
And small companies appear to be gaining pricing power: More are raising prices and fewer are lowering them, the NFIB says. If small businesses can charge more for their products, their financial health could be improved significantly.
With economic conditions moderating, business owners are, in general, getting more optimistic. The NFIB's sentiment index rose 2.7 points to 91.7 in October.
Small firms are responsible for a large chunk of the country's jobs growth. According to the Small Business Administration, they created 65 percent of net new jobs during a recent 15-year period. And, with the picture brightening for small firms, they may soon be more willing to hire.