Gallup: 85% of small businesses not hiring

posted at 1:55 pm on February 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Gallup polled small-business owners (value under $20M) about their expansion plans in early January, which for some strange reason didn’t get reported until today.  Among those who do not plan to hire — 85% of the entire sample — almost half of all such businesses cited expected costs from health care coverage and government regulation:

U.S. small-business owners who aren’t hiring — 85% of those surveyed — are most likely to say the reasons they are not doing so include not needing additional employees; worries about weak business conditions, including revenues; cash flow; and the overall U.S. economy. Additionally, nearly half of small-business owners point to potential healthcare costs (48%) and government regulations (46%) as reasons. One in four are not hiring because they worry they may not be in business in 12 months.

Remember all of those hiring tax credits Obama included in his stimulus bill and in his proposals in the State of the Union speech?  What kind of impact did they have on hiring plans among the 15% of businesses looking to expand?  Not much:

Small-business owners who are currently hiring are most likely to say they are doing so because their business operations expanded, consumer or business demand increased, sales and revenues justify adding more employees, and they need to replace an employee who left. Thirteen percent of owners point to their ability to get new capital, while 7% indicate they were influenced by government tax incentives.

Seven percent of a subset of 15% think Obama’s economic plans have helped them.  Forty-six percent of a subset of 85% think Obama’s regulations hurt them.  What does that say about Obama’s policies?  Small businesses are looking at this administration and seeing hostility and costly interference rather than a partner for long-term investment — and for very good reasons, one might add.

Respondents could choose multiple reasons in the survey, and the two most cited reasons for non-expansion are a lack of need for more employees and a lack of sales volume to justify hiring, which are of course related.  Coming in a close third at 66% are worries over the status of the economy, which probably comes rationally from seeing the lack of demand that would allow these businesses to grow.  Considering that small businesses of this class are the engine of job creation, this signals that we will not see any rapid expansion of employment in the near term, much as the CBO predicted last month.  It’s a vote of no-confidence from the innovators and risk-takers that drive our economy.


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But, but, Obama, DWS, Democrats and their mouthpieces – I mean media – say the economy is turning around.

Besides, we all know that small businesses are NOT the bedrock of our national economy!

Sigh.

Well, upside, maybe this will help boot Obama to the curb.

Logus on February 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

It’s a vote of no-confidence from the innovators and risk-takers that drive our economy.

Too bad President Downgrade doesn’t care about that vote – only those he can buy.

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 1:59 PM

In states that are hiring…it’s because the local goverments changed to Republican in 2010!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 1:59 PM

This is true, second look at Halliburton?

carbon_footprint on February 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

But, but, Obama, DWS, Democrats and their mouthpieces – I mean media – say the economy is turning around.

Logus on February 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

The problem of course is that they are 100 percent correct, it is turning around, it’s going from bad, to far far worse, from merely going to he11 in a hand-basket to going to he11 in a high speed bullet train.

SWalker on February 15, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Lets raise taxes!

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Small businesses don’t need to hire! There will be 100% employment when the Socialists take over completely!

No?

It doesn’t work like that?

But!

But!

OhEssYouCowboys on February 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM

didn’t they get the good news about their tax cut?????/

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Speaking for myself, over the last 3 years I’ve had to shelve 2 great start-up ideas (peripheral healthcare services). I know I could be making money hand over fist in a different environment, but the cost of the new regulations and of course Obamacare is just killing my ability to turn a profit.

Sorry, 8 employees who could have been working for me. Good luck to you.

Nom de Boom on February 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Seven percent of a subset of 15% think Obama’s economic plans have helped them.

No doubt a sizeable percentage of that subset got a government contract, loan guarantee or subsidy – a portion of which , no doubt, will be given back as a Democratic campaign contribution.

MessesWithTexas on February 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Yepper! Economy is going GREAT! Trucking is DOWN, gas and diesel purchases are DOWN. Real estate is still looking for the floor.

GarandFan on February 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Big deal. Raise the income tax, increase federal spending, problem solved.

You people are wing dings.

Bishop on February 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

We are $1.00 per gallon away increase and one European debt crisis away to another deep recession. There is no recovery.

Oil Can on February 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Small businesses are looking at this administration and seeing hostility and costly interference rather than a partner for long-term investment — and for very good reasons, one might add

Ed, you fail to mention that 71% choose the answer “sales won’t justify adding more employees.” In other words, there’s not strong enough consumer demand to grow.

You seem to be taking some liberty in interpreting the survey results.

bayam on February 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Let’s do the math that the Obama Administration is so bad at:

Seven percent of a subset of 15% think Obama’s economic plans have helped them.

0.07 x 0.15 = 0.0105 or 1.0%, or 1 out of 100 surveyed. The New 1%?

Forty-six percent of a subset of 85% think Obama’s regulations hurt them.

0.46 x 0.85 = 0.391, or 39.1%, or 39 out of 100 surveyed (4 out of 10).

In modern politicalese, the number of small businessmen (people with small businesses) who think Obama’s regulations hurt them versus small businessmen who think those regulations helps, stands at a ratio of 40:1 against. Ouch.

Yes, you can call me a nerd.

parke on February 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM

85% of the entire sample — almost half of all such businesses

cited expected costs from health care coverage and government regulation:

And Romneycare is going to solve this issue. Right. Funny, they didn’t cite conservative social issues as being the reason for not hiring. health care coverage and government regulation Sound like any one on our candidate list?

they lie on February 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM

“Seven percent of a subset of 15% think Obama’s economic plans have helped them.”

I sell booze…

… what can I say?

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Speaking for myself, over the last 3 years I’ve had to shelve 2 great start-up ideas (peripheral healthcare services). I know I could be making money hand over fist in a different environment, but the cost of the new regulations and of course Obamacare is just killing my ability to turn a profit.

Sorry, 8 employees who could have been working for me. Good luck to you.

Nom de Boom on February 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I hear you. I haven’t shelved my start-up (yet) but I’ve gone from a 5-7 employee need to just my partner and I. We are holding on hoping things change. But California is doing everything it can to crush us. Very sad.

Ditkaca on February 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I sell booze…

… what can I say?

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

masterful…. as usual. ++

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I blame those damn Skinny Cats at Small Business. They just aren’t greedy enough./

Flange on February 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM

i blame ATMs….. damn things…

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Recovery Summer 2009 will save us.

JeremiahJohnson on February 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

85% of small businesses not hiring

I smell a cause of action under the Commerce Clause….failing to hire employees causes harm to the economy.

In other words, there’s not strong enough consumer demand to grow.

bayam on February 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Well then, they can file for unemployment. I hear from well-placed officials that unemployment is the greatest stimulus for the economy. Get enough folks on unemployment and demand should increase,thereby creating a shortage of labor forcing these evil small companies to hire workers. You might think this is a good thing and the natural flow of economics and the labor force, the those same well-placed individuals also fear mightily the reduced rolls of the unemployed will have a disastrous impact on the economy, even though those people have jobs.

Apparently, a job is not nearly effective as being unemployed when fighting recessionary economic factors.

BobMbx on February 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM

We are $1.00 per gallon away increase and one European debt crisis away to another deep recession. There is no recovery.

Oil Can on February 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

That’s a shameless wingnut lie. Of course there will be recovery. Obama can perfectly recover most of his Soros-boosted assets in 2013 while residing in Venezuela, Kenya, or Argentina. Oh, you mean the America’s recovery… uh…

Archivarix on February 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

LOL!

I sell florescent bulbs to office buildings in DC.

/

kirkill on February 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

And what “Big Businesses” are hiring? None that aren’t getting government contracts to build green crap nobody wants.

kirkill on February 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

85% of small businesses are clearly racist.

NapaConservative on February 15, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

HAHA!

I sell printer paper to DC.

/

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 2:24 PM

And what “Big Businesses” are hiring?

kirkill on February 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Almost all of them, unfortunately they are hiring in China and India.

NapaConservative on February 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Seven percent of a subset of 15% think Obama’s economic plans have helped them.

0.07 x 0.15 = 0.0105 or 1.0%, or 1 out of 100 surveyed. The New 1%?

I’ve reminded myself of an old joke:

How do you create a small number of new prosperous business people via new regulations?

Start with a whole lot of prosperous business people.

parke on February 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 2:15 PM

:)

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I wonder what kind of gala Valentines Day affair they held at the WH last night. We’ll find out the day after the election from a media that either wants to rub it in the nose of conservatives or wants to pile on Obama.

BuckeyeSam on February 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Total US businesses 23 million all employee size.

Less than 20 emp 20 million businesses
Between 20-49 emp 750 K
Between 50-99 emp 250 K
Between 100-249 emp 140 K
Greater than 250 emp 50 K

So yeah, this is bad news.

Chuck Schick on February 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

We need to put the major media out of business…and only use the new media.

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

bayam on February 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

And you’re ignoring President Downgrade’s incessant demonization of those who create jobs.

Do you really think they are encouraged to work extra when every time they turn around he’s threatening to raise their taxes or regulate them out of existence?

The Real Reasons the Rich Are Moving Cash to the Caymans
http://www.smartmoney.com/invest/strategies/the-real-reasons-the-rich-are-moving-cash-to-the-caymans-1329103082393/?link=SM_hp_featStory
Arends: Mitt Romney has been criticized for having some of his fortune in offshore accounts, but it’s not really to save on taxes.

The new reason, though, is political risk: “Diversification from our government, policies, and banking systems,” says Duggan. The last few years have shaken faith in our system. Duggan says growing numbers of his clients are worried about the financial system, confiscation — the whole shebang. “They’re concerned about our government, and where our society is headed. There’s a lot of socialistic tendencies, capital controls, the redistribution of wealth.”

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Drug dealers are hiring!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Ed, you fail to mention that 71% choose the answer “sales won’t justify adding more employees.” In other words, there’s not strong enough consumer demand to grow.

You seem to be taking some liberty in interpreting the survey results.

bayam on February 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Except he did mention it without citing the exact number of 71% – just indicated pretty clearly that it was a little higher than the “close third” place reason which came in at 66%.

and the two most cited reasons for non-expansion are a lack of need for more employees and a lack of sales volume to justify hiring, which are of course related. Coming in a close third at 66% are worries over the status of the economy

Doesn’t seem like much liberty was taken there.

forest on February 15, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Drug dealers are hiring!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

LOL, so are Pimps.

NapaConservative on February 15, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Obama has released a new regulation requiring all small businesses to hire 1 more employee at no cost to themselves.

There, that ought to fix it.

/s

airmonkey on February 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

We are $1.00 per gallon away increase and one European debt crisis away to another deep recession. There is no recovery.

Oil Can on February 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

We’re already hitting the second recession.

Question is ? Does obama shovel enough @#$%(from your money) to keep it at bay until the 3rd week of November.

After that it doesn’t matter and the next recession will give us the obama depression that some have been calling his term. its just so sad.

cougar on February 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I teach at a university and have a small business. Of course I’m the only conservative in a sea of lefty college professors. One of them, whom I don’t really even know, asked me to hire him in my business. I was very direct that this administration’s economic illiteracy and tyrannical edicts make it too expensive for me to hire anyone, and if he wants a job outside the university he ought to consider voting libertarian or conservative. Elections have consequences, pal.

DrMagnolias on February 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM

DrMagnolias on February 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM

So, no ethics complaints against you yet?

BobMbx on February 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Poll of One:

“Mr. Strozek, will you be adding a 5th employee at your small business next year?”

No, Mr. Gallup, I will not. In fact, if transportation, health insurance and advertising costs continue to rise at the present pace, I am afraid I will be reducing the hours of one of the staff, or, worst case, laying him off.

On the other hand, I am sure glad all the candidates are getting that highly important pill and rubber problem squared away.

Bruno Strozek on February 15, 2012 at 3:09 PM

There is no silver lining to any of this news, Bammy must go to save our economy and the republic.

D-fusit on February 15, 2012 at 3:11 PM

After that it doesn’t matter and the next recession will give us the obama depression that some have been calling his term. its just so sad.

cougar on February 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I’m also guess at a large stock market drop hitting 401(k). If that happens I just can see how he get re-elected. I’m basing my analysis only on people vote their pockets book.

FYI, housing prices prices are dropping again. 4% mortgage rates have failed. See major strategic defaults in 2013. FHA has had 9 months of increasing delinquency rates. Underwater homeowners are starting to realize their equity in 2007 is not coming back.

Oil Can on February 15, 2012 at 3:13 PM

We need a mandate to force companies to hire people!
/librard

gwelf on February 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

These numbers are very bad news for President 10-289.

The working people in this country are weary of this uncertainty. Their minds are being made up now, not in the fall.

No amount of Mainstream Media bootlicking sunshine pumping or Occupy psychotic ranting is going to change peoples minds at this point.

The middle class has given up on President 10-289.

MichaelGabriel on February 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I just can’t see how he get re-elected.

Oil Can on February 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I’ve often said that if you want to find out how the government treats criminals, open a business!

And if you want to find out how the government pursues its arch enemies, hire an employee!!

(Learned from experience)

landlines on February 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

That’s a shameless wingnut lie. Of course there will be recovery. Obama can perfectly recover most of his Soros-boosted assets in 2013 while residing in Venezuela, Kenya, or Argentina. Oh, you mean the America’s recovery… uh…

Archivarix on February 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

And you forgot to mention the huge payoff from Al Qaeda for doing what they could not do to the USA…

landlines on February 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

What do they know?

Let’s ask the experts, you know, journalists and politicians who have never had a real job or run a business in their aristocratic lives.

NoDonkey on February 15, 2012 at 3:49 PM

But wait, you must be RICH if you own a business! Why aren’t they hiring more people?! You mean ol’ rich business owners! It shouldn’t matter that there’s no demand, you should hire anyway! Even with all the new regulations that are about to swamp you! /sarc

Seriously, I’m getting so dang tired of listening to this meme. This is what happens when you have someone who never took an simple econ class, and who has no businesspeople in their Cabinet.

RadioAngel on February 15, 2012 at 4:12 PM

RadioAngel on February 15, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Government can hire thousands of people with no idea what they might do, why not private business?

slickwillie2001 on February 15, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Big businesses aren’t much better; they stick out “now hiring” signs and actually hire someone maybe once every couple months. And that includes the junk-job positions.

To the small business owners out there – you have my deepest sympathy. The one I was employed at went out of business recently, and what hurt the most was hearing the manager’s discouraged voice when he told me the shop was shut up.

MelonCollie on February 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM

I believe it. I have been looking for work since I started college and no one has been hiring (I’m go to college on the south side of Chicago). There were positions within my college, but it would conflict with my required aviation related coursework.

After nearly TWO years of hitting the pavement and filling out countless forums, I finally landed a job serving doughnuts at good old’ Dunkin Doughnuts. I’m very happy that I now have an actual job – outside of my $10 per hour lawn cutting summer service. :)

But yea, it’s tough to even land a job for the entry level stuff too. It surely wasn’t this way when Bush was in office. My sister was able to find a job quite easilly in the hours before the stock market crash of 2008. Building upon my own personal experiances with finding work, there’s no way Obama’s going to get elected on my watch!

iheart707 on February 16, 2012 at 1:50 AM