6:40 am October 4, 2012, by David Markiewicz
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.
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