Small business owners are considering increasing their payrolls, signaling confidence in the economy and the potential for business growth across the United States. A recent PNC survey showed around 22 percent of small and medium businesses intend to expand hiring practices over the next six months, marking a 6 percent increase over last year’s study and the most since a survey conducted in 2012.
Of those planning on hiring, many are also considering doling out more pay raises as the year goes on. According to the survey, 32 percent of business owners project they will increase employee wages over the next six months. While these findings certainly indicate growth in line with the rest of the survey, this last figure is down 10 percent from last fall.
One of the factors driving the potential increase in hiring is improved confidence in the U.S. economy. The study found 13 percent of respondents said they felt “greatly optimistic” over the state of the economy, nearly doubling the 7 percent of respondents who said the same in the fall. Approximately 64 percent of respondents reported they were “moderately optimistic” about the economy, the highest number since pre-recession 2007.
“Now, pent-up consumer demand and continued support from the Federal Reserve are fueling the upbeat tone,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC. “These findings support our baseline forecast that the U.S. economic and jobs expansion should quickly bounce back this spring and propel what should be the economy’s best year since before the Great Recession.”
Increasing hiring is an important step small business owners often take when expanding their companies. While hiring more staff is usually a positive sign for a business, it can also be an expensive endeavor, making funding for other business practices more difficult. Those considering changes to their business strategies should consider National Funding, which provides working capital for businesses both large and small.