US small business hiring plans hit highest since 2018 by Bloomberg

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(Bloomberg) – The largest share of U.S. small businesses since late 2018 say they plan to add workers in the coming months, indicating demand is improving enough to hire new hires despite tough conditions the labor market.

The National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday that in September 23% of small businesses plan to create new jobs, up 2 percentage points from the previous month and the fifth consecutive increase. At the same time, 36%, the most since February, said they had vacancies they weren’t able to fill immediately.

“The Covid-19 restrictions and regulations on small businesses vary by state, but we are starting to see a pickup in employment as small businesses continue to expand their business activities,” said William Dunkelberg, economist in chief at the NFIB, in a statement.

The survey indicates a continuous, but gradual, improvement in the labor market. Yet millions of Americans remain unemployed, and health concerns continue to limit activity in some industries such as travel and food services. The Labor Department will release its monthly employment report for September on Friday and the median forecast from a Bloomberg survey of economists calls for an 875,000 payroll increase and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8, 2%.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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