Small Business Optimism Continues its Slide in November

December 11, 2018

Small-business owners were feeling less optimistic in November, citing concerns about an economic slowdown and tightening labor market.

The National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index dropped 2.6 points for the month, with a reading of 104.8. This marks the third consecutive month of decline and the lowest level since April.

The most common cause for concern from the business owners surveyed was difficulty in hiring. About a quarter of the respondents said that finding qualified employees was their biggest problem. They also worry they will have to increase pay to attract more qualified candidates, with the number of employers who feel they will need to raise wages tying the 30-year high.

The NFIB itself also noted concerns about future economic growth. While the organization expects solid growth in the fourth quarter, it worries that growth appears to have peaked and that 2019 will see slowed growth.

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