Small business optimism continues to run at record highs throughout the nation. According to a recent National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) report, July 2018 marked the second highest level in the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index in its 45 year history. For July, the index hit 107.9 only 0.1 point off the record of July 1983 of 108. July 2018 did set a record “in terms of owners reporting job creation plans and those with job openings.”
This falls in line with the summer of 2018 where small business optimism continues to increase, but qualified workers and rate of wage increase do not follow. “July is the eighth consecutive strong month of reported sales gains after years of low or negative numbers.” Since the Trump Administration began, the economy has continued to hum along bringing continued low unemployment and, what many owners believe to be, better business conditions.
The issue of finding qualified workers will continue it seems. “52 percent (88 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-three percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their single most important business problem (up two points), one point below the 45-year record high.” How this plays into a downtown remains to be seen, but for now, the economy continues to be strong.