The U.S. Department of Labor recently released January employment figures, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. added 113,000 jobs in January, bringing the national unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent, a five-year low.
While small businesses contributed significantly to the increase in jobs last month, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that entrepreneurs may be facing difficulties during the hiring process.
“The ability to find qualified applicants for available jobs continues to plague the small business community,” said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg.
While conducting a survey of NFIB member companies, the lobbying group found that 46 percent of small business owners made attempts to bring on new staff in the last three months. However, 83 percent of those engaging in hiring practices stated they found few or no qualified applicants to fill available positions, making the hiring process lengthier and fraught with delays. Furthermore, 22 percent of those surveyed reported they had jobs available that they were struggling to fill.
Overall, the NFIB reported, small business owners added an average of 0.12 workers per company in January, which Dunkelberg called “a solid number.” The report found job creation plans increased 4 points in January, up to a net 12 percent, the best NFIB reading since September 2007. Dunkelberg predicted that the first half of 2014 may see economic growth from many small businesses.
Although the struggle to find appropriate hires is likely frustrating for many entrepreneurs, going forward, the attempt to increase payroll numbers points to positivity in the market. As small business owners move toward expansion in staffing, they may find themselves in need of additional funding. Entrepreneurs can reach out to National Funding for assistance with getting a small business loan to handle business changes or to address other financial questions they may have.