Small Business Hiring Plans on Hold

February 8, 2002 ( - The majority of small businesses, although cautiously optimistic on the future of the economy, will not be expanding their staff this year, a new survey finds.

In stark contrast to 2001 findings, which showed small business owners hiring some 850,000 workers, the survey, released by Partner America, found that: over 75% of small businesses do not expect to add new employees in 2002. Another 4% plan to cut staff this year.

 The Small Business Owner Economic Outlook Survey, revealed a fragile confidence on the part of small business owners:

  • while 79% of those surveyed believe our economy will emerge from its current recession by the end of this year
  • over 40% say sales will stay the same as last year
  • a similar percentage think their sales will increase only slightly

But the majority believes that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to kick-start the economy have had little impact, in fact:

  • only 35% of the small businesses surveyed think the Fed’s interest rate reductions have had a positive impact on their businesses
  • while 55% think rate cuts have had no impact.

The Small Business Owner Economic Outlook Survey was conducted by polling firm StategyOne. The survey comprised telephone interviews with 200 US small business owners.

Partner America is a partnership between the US Conference of Mayors and American Management Services to help small and mid-sized businesses improve profits and sales.