Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Spark Beat: Small Business Hiring Trends

Spark Beat is the Spark Hire blog’s current events series. Spark Beat gives you the scoop on important industry news, so you can make well-informed, fact-based, business decisions.

Recently, small business hiring trends have been difficult to pinpoint. Between March and April, the change was largely negligible—less than 1% in either direction—with different metrics reporting different numbers. Some even reported small increases in hiring, while others reported small decreases in hiring. This all comes as overall reports on small business hiring show decreasing or stagnant numbers. Only 14% of small business owners in a recent CNNMoney-Manta study said that they would be hiring more workers this year.

What does this mean for you, as a small business owner? On the one hand, you know your own small business’s needs independent of hiring trends and statistical data. On the other hand, these hiring numbers are the results of real issues in the marketplace. Knowing the facts can shed new light on your small business hiring situation.

Although small business hiring is slow, small business growth is impressive. A recent Private Company Outlook report shows a 10.2% growth in sales over a 6 month period that ended in March. Why didn’t increased sales generate an increase in small business hiring?

Two main factors seem to be at work. According to many small business owners, the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act is affecting their decision to hire more employees. Many small business owners are unsure how to proceed with hiring, because they don’t know how the ACA will affect the employment costs to their small business. Some also complain that the government hasn’t provided enough details to allow informed decisions. Spark Beat will cover more information as it becomes available. Here are some good resources for the present:

Compliance with the ACA isn’t the only regulation that can be problematic for small business owners. According to ADP data, since 2001 there have been more than 4,680 changes made to the U.S. Tax Code. At that rate, more than one change per day, small business owners struggle to remain in compliance. Are you in compliance? ADP further reports that only 1 in 3 small businesses meet all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Add increased outsourcing to this list, and you begin to see why small business hiring is low in the face of some economic growth.

What do you do, as a small business owner? Spark Beat has the facts, now you provide the discussion. How has compliance and regulation affected your hiring practices? Are you holding off because of uneasiness about the ACA? Tell us your thoughts below, or send us a tweet: @sparkhire #SparkBeat

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Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.

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