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Even With Slight Improvement, Jobs Forecast Not Promising

By Ideas Lab Staff January 8, 2013

The National Federation of Independent Business releases its monthly economic survey.

Job creation in December improved marginally from November, but the chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business said the numbers were “nothing to write home about and certainly not a sign that robust growth is on the horizon.”

NFIB’s monthly economic survey, released today, reflects the responses of 648 sampled NFIB members.

According to a news release, William C. Dunkelberg, the organization’s economist, said the news in the numbers is the “substantial weakening of job creation plans, which fell 4 points, indicating that only (a net) one percent of owners plan to increase employment in the months to come.” The plunge in job creation plans and the decline in job openings likely reflected frustration with policies and economic uncertainties, he stated.

The following results also came from the December survey:

  • The average change in employment per firm increased to .03, up from -.04 workers
  • 11 percent of surveyed owners reported they hired an average of 2.9 workers per firm over the past few months, while 13 percent of owners reduced employment by an average of 1.9 workers
  • 76 percent of survey respondents made no employment changes
  • 16 percent of all owners reported they had hard-to-fill job openings, a one-point drop from the previous month

Dunkelberg also expects January’s survey to bring disappointment, according to the news release. “If the unemployment rate falls, it is likely to be due more to demographics than new job creation, which will not be so strong since holiday consumer spending failed to deliver the surge many had hoped for,” he stated.