Millennials Most Likely Generation to Hire
This quarter’s rise is largely due to increased optimism in small business owners’ perceptions of their local economies. All other indicators remain largely unchanged at the national level. The third quarter survey was taken between June 28-July 25 and reflects small business sentiment at the time.
Some of the key findings this quarter include:
- 56% of small businesses say their local economy is in good health, up five percentage points from last quarter.
- 58% feel the U.S. economy is in good health, on par with last quarter (59%). Year to year, the percentage of small businesses that feel optimistic about the U.S. economy has increased from 41% in Q3 2017, to 55% in Q3 2018, to 58% now.
- Two-thirds (66%) of small businesses continue to feel good about business health, including 41% who feel very good (slightly higher than last quarter’s 39%).
Q3 INDEX HIGHLIGHTS
Small businesses hold investment, staffing levels steady.
Expectations to increase investment are statistically unchanged from last quarter at 26% (27% in Q2). 29% of small businesses plan to increase staff in the next year (28% in Q2), 6% expect to downsize.
Professional services are most optimistic, retailers least.
Small businesses in professional services (74%) remain the most optimistic about their health by far. While retailers remain the least optimistic (59%), their outlook has increased since last quarter (55%).
Manufacturing optimism drops.
Last quarter, 69% of manufacturers reported feeling positive about the national economy. This quarter, it falls to 63%. 32% plan to increase staffing (compared to 39% in Q2).
Minority-owned businesses lead hiring.
Minority-owned small businesses (38%) are more likely to have hiring plans than their non-minority-owned counterparts (27%). Also, minority-owned small businesses have higher expectations of increasing investment.
Southern optimism soars, Northeast remains steady.
63% of Southern small businesses believe their economy is in good health, up from 51% last quarter and the highest of any region. 49% of Northeast small businesses feel their local economy is in good health (47% in Q2).
Millennials most likely generation to hire.
Millennial small business owners are by far the most likely to have plans to grow staff (43%), especially compared to Baby Boomer or older small business owners (27%).