Less than half of American small business owners are optimistic about the economy, according to a survey that finds declining sales and rising health care costs will prevent employers from hiring needed staff until well past the election.
“Our survey results indicated that over half (51 percent) of polled small business owners are not optimistic about the U.S. economy,” said Fred Graziano, Head of Regional Commercial Banking, Government Banking and Small Business, at TD Bank. Seventeen percent of small business owners said described themselves as “not at all optimistic” about the economy.
Seventy percent of business plan to maintain current staffing levels for the rest of the year. Thirty-five percent of small businesses surveyed reported being understaffed, but just 21 percent plan to hire one or more employees in the next six months.
The top two impediments to hiring over the next six months, according to the business owners in the survey: “declining job sales” (29 percent) and “rising health care and insurance costs” (27 percent).