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Small Business Hiring Dips, Despite Owner Optimism

A national survey of small businesses finds the outlook among business owners is increasingly sunny. But that's having little effect in the near term.



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SurePayroll’s Small Business Scorecard for March puts optimism among small business owners at 70%. That’s the first time the survey has registered optimism in the seventies since May of last year.

That positive outlook isn’t filtering down to workers. Hiring at small businesses fell slightly in March compared to February, both in the Houston area and nationwide, while paycheck size remained flat. 

Owners cite worries about business costs as a reason for holding back on hiring. Top cost concerns include gas prices, taxes and insurance.

Almost 80 percent of owners surveyed said business in the first quarter met or exceeded their expectations. They credited the improvement to a mix of rising demand and cost cutting. 


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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