Despite Strong Year for Jobs, Small Businesses Starting to Worry About Economy

While the November jobs report was weaker than expected, on the whole, 2018 saw more jobs created than either 2016 or 2017–but that might not be enough for small businesses which are increasingly worried.

This year, almost 2.3 million jobs have been created though that could be slowing down even as manufacturing groups are still investing into metals aluminum and steel facilities.

A CNBC/Survey Monkey Small Business Survey finds that small businesses see the economy looking at a slight dip in the new year.

Many small business owners remain optimistic over the economy thanks to the Trump administration pushing tax cuts and rolling back business regulations. But some of the business surveyed said they believe there are some troubling times ahead.

Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, insisted small businesses should be hopeful about the economy.

“Small businesses are growing,” he said.

According to the survey, the top current concerns of small business include a skilled-labor shortage as business owners say they have had job openings for more than three months and haven’t been able to fill them.

The surveyed found that 56 percent of small businesses are offering higher wages while 31 percent offer to pay for additional training, 27 percent provide additional benefits to workers, including paying for student loans.

Many small business are even softening their drug testing and criminal background records policy to bring in more workers.

Looking ahead to a new Congress taking over in 2019, 19 percent of small business owners said they want to see spending cuts and deficit reduction as the top priority while 18 percent say immigration is their top issue and 17 percent say it is healthcare. The survey does show some concern as the Democrats take over the U.S. House next month.

Still, there are major concerns as the National Small Business Association and the Small Business Roundtable says they found that 40 percent of their small business associates were less optimistic about the outlook of the American economy.

The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey was conducted from Nov. 19–29 and included more than 2,100 small businesses across America.

Small business owners aren’t the only business leaders starting to worry about the economy. Newsweek reported that an overwhelming majority of CFOs–more than 80 percent–are thinking a recession is coming in the next two years.

“Almost half of corporate CFOs, 49 percent, say the U.S. economy’s decade-long growth streak is set to collide with worsening debt woes, with the country facing a recession by the end of next year. Corporate finance leaders are preparing for the recession to hit within 18 months, and 82 percent of CFOs interviewed in the latest quarterly Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey expect the U.S. to slide into a recession by 2020,” Newsweek reported.

“The end is near for the near-decade-long burst of global economic growth,” said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke University  and the director of the survey Newsweek cited. “The U.S. outlook has declined; moreover, the outlook is even worse in many other parts of the world, which will lead to softer demand for U.S. goods.”


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