Hiring at small businesses screeched to a halt in October, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’s monthly report released Thursday.
Owners added a net zero workers per firm last month, from 0.05 in September, according to the organization’s monthly survey, which polls about 1,400 small U.S. firms. Nearly a third (27%) of respondents said that they could not fill positions because they could not find qualified applicants.
“Small-business owners are still consumed by a large cloud of uncertainty and cannot find qualified workers to fill their open positions,” NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg told The Wall Street Journal.
In contrast, ADP and Moody’s on Wednesday reported that private-sector small business employment increased by 90,000 jobs from September to October.
The NFIB report comes ahead of Friday’s highly anticipated employment situation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal project that nonfarm payrolls increased 183,000 in October, up from a 142,000 in September, and that the unemployment rate dipped to 5% from 5.1% amid a declining participation rate. Hourly wages, economists think, edged 0.2% higher last month.