(Bloomberg) — The largest share of U.S. small businesses since the end of 2018 say they plan to add workers in coming months, indicating demand is improving enough to take on new hires despite challenging labor-market conditions.
The National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday that a net 23% of small firms in September were planning to create new jobs, up 2 percentage points from the prior month and the fifth straight increase. At the same time 36%, the most since February, said they had open positions they were not able to immediately fill.
“Covid-19 restrictions and regulations put on small businesses vary by state, but we are starting to see a jobs recovery as small businesses continue to increase business operations,” William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the NFIB, said in a statement.
The survey points to ongoing, yet gradual, improvement in a labor market. Still, millions of Americans remain jobless and health-related concerns continue to limit activity in some industries such as travel and food services. The Labor Department on Friday will issue its monthly jobs report for September and the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists calls for an 875,000 increase in payrolls and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.2%.
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