Atlanta small business owners less inclined to hire

Small and mid-sized business owners in metro Atlanta are less inclined to add staff this fall and winter than they were back in the spring, a new survey shows.

Only 18 percent of businesses here intend to add workers in the next six months, according to the biannual PNC Economic Outlook from PNC Financial Services Group. That’s down from 34 percent who planned to expand their employee base last spring. Only 10 percent said they plan to reduce staff, however.

Optimism among Atlanta business owners surveyed is down from what it was in the spring. One in five are optimistic about their own company’s prospects over the next six months, versus 24 percent in the spring, and 26 percent described themselves as pessimistic, compared to 13 percent.

The percentage of business owners looking to take out new business loans or planning to make capital investments this fall and winter is about the same as it was in spring.

The report said, “Owners’ outlooks for sales, profits and hiring for the next six months are substantially weaker than in the spring …”

Among the survey’s other findings:

— 54 percent said they are “worse off” since 2007 when the economic recession officially began. Only 23 percent said they are “better off.”

— 57 percent think action by the federal government after the November elections will aid their hiring plans, as a result of reduced regulations and less government spending.

3 comments Add your comment

History repeats

October 4th, 2012
11:51 am

During the first Great Depression (yes, this is the second), massive uncertainly plagued businesses. Constantly changing regulations from Washington, new fascist economic control programs from the FDR administration kept every business in america unsure of whether or not they would be allowed to hire, fire, raise wages, lower wages, etc. from one day to the next. As a result, we had a Depression that lasted until the end of WW2 when these failed policies finally ended and a couple million men came home to work. The freed economy and willing labor force drove an enormous expansion that went on for decades. Today we have a president who continues the failed policies of Hoover and FDR and is micromanipulating the economy in such ways that nobody is certain of the future. We have another candidate who is so bloodthirsty that the economy no longer knows if war is right around the corner or not. Neither mindset allows for the stability that an economy needs to grow and prosper.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 4th, 2012
3:38 pm

— 57 percent think action by the federal government after the November elections will aid their hiring plans, as a result of reduced regulations and less government spending.

Well, you don’t have to be intelligent to run a small business, do you? Demand drives capacity expansion, not what goes on in Washington or who is in the White House.

A business owner facing dwindling demand for their products isn’t going to see a resurgence in consumer demand because a regulation was rolled back or the government reduces it’s spending. In fact, if government is one of the buyers of their products, they might see further dwindling of demand.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 4th, 2012
3:42 pm

the FDR administration kept every business in america unsure of whether or not they would be allowed to hire, fire, raise wages, lower wages, etc. from one day to the next.

Not meant to be a factual statement.

Look back at GDP. The US had reached pre-depression GDP levels by 1936 (5 years before we entered the war.) FDR screwed up after that and put in austerity measures which sent the US reeling a second time. It was WW2 that got us out of this second problem.