Small businesses comprise approximately 54% of all U.S. sales and 66% of all net new jobs in the United States. Although small businesses may have modest employee numbers, they are certainly drivers of job growth and economic change in the country. According to a new survey by the Lucas Group, small business job growth optimism is looking up.
The Lucas Group survey, Small to Mid-sized Business (SMB) Job Generation Outlook, collected information from 1,900 SMB executives on their performance and outlook from Q3 2014. The report assessed the U.S. economic outlook, employment forecasts, political trends, and growth patterns among SMB executives. Here's a look at what this means for small business job growth in 2015.
SMBs Optimistic About Job Growth and Hiring
According to the survey, 52 percent of respondents reported being somewhat or very optimistic with job growth prospects for their company. Of those surveyed more than half anticipated expanding their workforce in the next 12 months.
Small and mid-sized businesses are growing so quickly, in fact, that they are reporting challenges in hiring qualified candidates.
The greatest hiring shortages are reported to be in the sales and information technology sectors where 61 percent of executives responded that they are facing difficult or extremely difficult recruitment campaigns to bring in new employees.
Based on responses from the past 18 months, 89 percent of small and mid-sized U.S. business leaders reported maintaining stability or experiencing job growth. Not only is this sector healthy, but a majority of employers see their companies as job generators for the U.S. economy.
Top Job Growth Challenges for SMBs are Healthcare, Recruiting
Since 2013, small to mid-sized businesses have reported healthcare costs to be the most pressing problem facing their company. The top five challenges reported are:
Healthcare costs (32%)
Talent availability (29%)
Uncertainty in tax policy (9%)
Environmental regulations (6%)
Similarily, the survey found that 85 percent of respondents predict Obamacare will have at least some level of business impact (a “little”, “some” or “large” impact).
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