LANSING - The Michigan small business economic climate seems stuck in an ice age but, paradoxically, small business hiring started heating up in the spring of 2005, carving a hole in that glacier.
SBAM’s latest quarterly Small Business Barometer survey finds that 18 percent of small business owners hired more workers in the second quarter of the year – the highest percentage of small businesses reporting hiring increases since the third quarter of 1999.
“We’re scratching our heads over this result – small business owners must be seeing something positive in the economy that other experts are missing,” said Michael Rogers, vice president communications for SBAM. “Maybe it’s a reverse canary-in-a-coalmine effect. Small business owners are the economic canaries who are chirping that things are starting to look a little bit better, and they are hiring more workers so they can be poised to take advantage of an improving economy.”
Small employers may also be reacting to the ample supply of qualified workers on the job market, Rogers said. Forty-three percent give a positive rating to accessibility of qualified personnel.
The quarterly Barometer survey is sponsored by SBAM with the participation and support of the Center for Urban Studies of Wayne State University. The survey was conducted by Public Policy Associates of Lansing.