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Small-Business Hiring Slows

More small businesses are pulling back on hiring, The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

What’s going on: “The portion of small-business owners who expect to expand their workforce over the next year was below 50% for the second month in a row in May, hitting the lowest level since June 2020, during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey conducted for The Wall Street Journal.”

  • Even as the economy shows signs of a slowdown, applicant pay expectations remain high—but small-business owners are “less willing to pay up for talent” as they respond to belt tightening by their customers.

The data: In March, U.S. job openings fell to their lowest level in almost two years, and the number of layoffs increased.

  • However, employers added 253,000 jobs in April, mostly on the strength of service-sector gains.

What it means: “‘There is no question that CEOs are downshifting into a slowing economy,’ said Vistage chief research officer Joe Galvin. Despite caution about adding additional workers, ‘no one is willing to shed the hard-earned and expensive employees they hired,’ Mr. Galvin said. Entrepreneurs often still struggle to fill openings when workers leave, he added.”

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