A survey of small business owners shows a lack of confidence in the U.S. economy. More than two-thirds indicated they do not plan to add payrolls in 2011 or 2012. WSJ’s Siobhan Hughes reports.
Almost two-thirds—64%—of small-business executives surveyed said they weren’t expecting to add to their payrolls in the next year and another 12% planned to cut jobs, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report to be released Monday. Just 19% said they would expand their work forces.
This comes after a Labor Department report Friday showed employers added few jobs in June, and unemployment rose to 9.2%. The bleak figures joined other data showing the recovery losing momentum in recent months, which has caused many analysts and policy makers to lower their forecasts for economic growth in the second half of the year.
The Small Business Administration says small businesses, defined as companies with fewer than 500 workers, employ about half of the workers in the private sector. In the Chamber’s survey of 1,409 executives, conducted by Harris Interactive, small businesses were defined as firms with revenue of $25 million or less.
More than half of the small-business executives in the June 27-30 survey cited economic uncertainty as the main reason for holding back on hiring. About a third blamed lack of sales, while just 7% pointed to problems getting credit.
“I think it’s safer to stay on hold and not hire workers,” said Harold Jackson, chief executive of Buffalo Supply, a Lafayette, Colo., distributor of high-tech medical equipment used in operating rooms.