Small businesses employ almost half of all workers in the United States and, through hiring, have been responsible for much of the economic recovery since the 2008 recession. Over the past year, hiring activity has been on an upward trend for small businesses, with plans to add workers hitting the highest level since 1999.
Key research findings include:
Part I: “Small Businesses and Employment”
- Over half of the small business owners found it more difficult to fill their hiring needs in the past six months.
- A significant percentage of small business owners had job openings they could not fill in the past six months.
- The inability to find qualified applicants is the greatest hiring challenge for over half of business owners.
- Raising salary/wages to be competitive and offering healthcare benefits are common solutions to hiring challenges.
- Personal referrals from workers and other business owners are popular ways small business owners find qualified workers.
Part II: “The Impact of the ‘Gig’ Economy”
- Nearly half of non-employer/solopreneur firms hire part-time workers.
- One-fifth of businesses have replaced employees with contractors in the last six months.
- Hiring has increased for full-time, part-time, and gig workers in the last six months.
- Specialized expertise is the top reason for hiring contractors/temp workers.
- Technology, accounting, and marketing are the top business functions outsourced to contractors.
Part III: “Small Business Owner Sentiments Are Overwhelmingly Positive”
- Most small business owners are optimistic about their growth in the next six months.
- Millennial business owners are more optimistic than older business owners.
- Policies favoring large businesses, access to capital, and changes in healthcare are top concerns for small business owners.
- Millennial business owners are more concerned about finding and keeping qualified workers than older business owners.
- Personal income tax, corporate income tax, and local labor laws are top concerns for small business owners in the next six months.
The Megaphone of Main Street data report series by SCORE provides insights into small business trends and challenges in the United States. The reports cover a range of topics such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, financial management strategies, and marketing tactics. The data is collected through surveys of small business owners, providing valuable information for entrepreneurs, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in the success of small businesses.