Small Business Sentiments Are Worrying! What is happening?


 Small business confidence in the United States reportedly fell in November to a six-month low, compounded by continued difficulties in finding skilled workers and concerns about inflation.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) announced that its small business optimism index fell to 90.6 last month from 90.7 in October. The index remained below its 50-year average reading of 98 for the 23rd consecutive month.

Optimism has declined since the indication peaked this year in July when the business sector reported difficulties in finding skilled workers and dealing with inflation.

While the difficulty of filling open positions continues, the percentage of businesses reporting few or no qualified job applicants fell to 50%, the lowest since January 2021. This drop brings the indication below the average of about 52 in the two years before the covid-19 pandemic.

Some owners also reported difficulty filling open positions, with the figure down three points from October to 40%. This is despite the current weak hiring rate.

"The net percentage of NFIB enterprises adding jobs has been negative since March, with more enterprises cutting jobs than adding them," the report said. "Employment opportunities remain high, but the boom in the economy has not brought a strong wave of workers to fill open positions."

As the Federal Reserve nears the end of its rate hike cycle, 25% of homeowners surveyed are paying a higher rate on their latest loan, down three points from October. Projections on the state of the business sector have also been affected by economic uncertainty.