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New SBAM survey shows small business optimism despite tight labor market

December 28, 2016

After seeming to tap the brakes in the summer, small business owners’ sales and profits accelerated over the past six months, according to the latest Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) Barometer survey. 

“This is impressive performance that shows small business owners seem to be coping with the continuing tight supply of labor,” says SBAM Vice President Communications Michael Rogers. “But coping doesn’t mean they are satisfied with their access to qualified workers. Almost 40 percent said they plan to hire more in 2017, so they’re going to continue to cast a wide net to get the workers they need for future growth.”

Small business owners say that over the previous six months:

  •  Forty-three percent had sales increases (up from 40 percent six months ago)
  •  Thirty-one percent said profits had increased (up from 30 percent)
  • Twenty-two percent said they hired more workers (down from 27 percent)

Looking forward over the next six months:

  • Sixty-two percent said they expect sales to increase (up from 60 percent six months ago)
  • Fifty-three percent said they expect profits to increase (down slightly from 54 percent six months ago)
  • Thirty-nine percent intend to hire more workers (up from 34 percent six months ago)

Four hundred fifteen small business executives were interviewed in late fall 2016 for this round of the Barometer survey.

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