Profit per employee figures have increased, meaning that companies are managing their employee counts efficiently now as jobs have tumbled and unemployment numbers remain high.
These businesses may find that the “new found efficiency” is cost effective, and that may deter them from bringing on new hires in the short term until sales prove to be sustainable. The lack of optimism indicated below may place a hold on hiring plans for these firms now.
Graph: Sageworks' Private Company Data on Sales Growth, 2001-2011
Small businesses have gained ground over the last year as sales revenues have increased, but these firms are bracing now for headwinds being created via uncertainty over the debt crisis, market turmoil, and sustained high unemployment numbers. In a survey recently tallied by the NFIB, small businesses owners have indicated that they are generally pessimistic when asked about their outlook over the next six months.