Optimism of Small-Business Owners at Highest Level Seen in Decade

Gallup's job creation index at +37 in July—a record high

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• August 6, 2017 5:00 am


Optimism for small-business owners about their business situation is at the highest level seen in a decade, according to a poll from Gallup.

Business owners were asked about their current business situation and how they felt about their businesses' future. While business owners are historically more positive about the future than their current situation, the results from this poll show a large uptick in how businesses feel about their current situation.

"The overall increase in the index this quarter is mainly the result of an uptick in present situation ratings, rather than expectations about the future," Gallup states. "The present situation score rose from +36 in the second quarter to +45 in the third quarter."

Twenty-one percent of small-business owners said they increased the number of jobs, which is one point below the all-time high of 22 percent seen in 2007. Only 10 percent of business-owners said the number of jobs has declined in the past year, which is the lowest level seen since 2006.

Another poll from Gallup finds that job creation hit an all-time high in July. Gallup determines this index by examining whether employers are hiring, expanding their workforce, or laying workers off. Nearly half of employees, 47 percent, said their company was hiring in July while only 10 percent said they were reducing the number of jobs.

"Gallup's job creation index has been at or near its highest point over the past five months since Gallup began tracking the measure in 2008," the poll states. "This comes as the U.S. unemployment rate and underemployment in June—the last month for which government data are available—remain low."

Business owners said their top challenge was government policies such as taxes and regulations.

"Owners in previous research expressed optimism that the new presidential administration would help them address these concerns—including taxes and the burden of government," Gallup states. "So far, the trend data on the open-ended most-important-challenge question do not show an appreciable decrease in those citing government as their greatest challenge."

Published under: Economy, Jobs, Small Business