Fourteen percent of small businesses reported an increase in their numbers of employees. The fourth quarter marked the first time in the past two years that more small businesses reported increased in employment than reported decreases.
More workers may have been hired because more workers were available. Positive ratings for accessibility of qualified personnel rose from 45 percent in the third quarter of 2002 to 55 percent in the fourth quarter.
At 55 percent, these fourth-quarter positive ratings were the highest they have been in Barometer Survey history, surpassing 1993’s 51 percent rating.
The number of small businesses reporting wage increases dropped from 25 percent in the third quarter to 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2002.
This is the first quarter in Barometer Survey history that fewer than 20 percent of small business owners have reported an increase in wages.
Two hundred small business owners were interviewed in November 2002. The quarterly Small Business Barometer survey, now in its tenth year, is sponsored by SBAM with the participation and support of the Center for Urban Studies of Wayne State University.
The survey was conducted by the Public Policy Associates of Lansing. For more information on the survey visit SBAM’s Web site, www.sbam.org