Hiring outlook gloomy
The job outlook at America’s small businesses is the worst it ever has been, new research shows.
Last month, 21 percent of small-business owners said they expected to lower head count over the next six months — the highest percentage recorded by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index since its launch in 2003. In July, the last time data were compiled, just 10 percent of bosses said they planned to shrink employee ranks.
More than 60 percent of owners said they would keep their work force steady, while 17 percent said they intended to hire. That’s down from 20 percent in July.
On the Gallup index, the difference between the companies that plan to raise head count and those that will lower it resulted in a score of -4. A score of 0 indicates equal percentages of businesses planning to increase and decrease hiring.
Historically, according to Gallup, the index tends to show a positive figure, even reaching double digits during good economic years.
Compiled from wire reports