Uncertainty Impacts Business Hiring

The question “How’s business?” is one of my favorite conversation starters. The answers I receive give me an overall sense about what is going on in the business community. The short version of what I’m hearing from small companies is that the economy feels better but isn’t great and uncertainty is causing them to be cautious.

This general sentiment was borne out in a Gallup poll of small businesses released last week. A weak economy and lack of demand were cited as reasons for not hiring new people but specifically highlighted by Gallup were rising health care costs and government regulations. The result is that 85 percent of respondents said they are not looking to hire.

A takeaway from the poll is that significant uncertainty remains. My guess is that will be the case until the presidential election this fall and even beyond as people sort out the policy direction of the next administration.