It’s been an extremely long time coming, but it appears that small business hiring may be really and truly trending up. It’s a real victory for small business jobs.
If you want some evidence that this has been a staggeringly long drought for hiring—both small business and big business have been affected—then look no further than this Gallup poll. The fact that 14 percent more business owners expect hiring to increase this year than don’t is the largest such margin since January 2008, which you may remember as a time before the bottom had completely fallen out of the economy. It’s a statement on how far we’ve collectively come in the last four years, even if it’s more than a little sad that it took four years.
You’re probably wondering what’s driving this sudden spark of optimism and, hopefully, companies that are hiring that may lay ahead. As I see it, there’s basically three factors here:
- The economy is actually improving, which makes small businesses more optimistic about getting…well, business
- That optimism drives expansion, which creates more work
- There’s a market full of qualified workers who have been waiting for a chance to tackle that extra work and may now get it
Of course, this wouldn’t be a post about small business hiring if I didn’t add in a caveat. The actual reported hiring from 2011 and January 2012 has been pretty sluggish, casting doubt on the optimism. There’s also the fact that full-time hiring is still low, with many small businesses preferring to bring in temporary or part-time employees. It’s not like we’re going to see a massive surge that will erase unemployment, unfortunately.
Still, optimism is optimism, and we may be heading for greener pastures now. If it’s slow improvement, it’s still improvement.
What are your thoughts on our report?