Employment at small firms declined an average of 0.04 workers per company in May, according to a new report by the National Federation of Independent Business. It marks the first decline of the year, following five straight months of growth that had many hoping small businesses were finally finding their footing.
Bill Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, noted that future hiring plans took a dip last month, too — “not a sunny outlook for the summer months,” he said.
“Owners are still quite pessimistic about economic recovery, though far less so than six months ago,” Dunkelberg said in a statement. “It will take a marked improvement in sales to convince them to hire more workers, and prospects for that are not good.”