Growth ends and decline begins. End of growth momentum, lack of rise potential. Change of trend to negative. Worsening forecast. Progress slowdown.

Optimism among small business owners is decreasing. NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index went down by 1.1 points in April to 89.0. Labor quality (24%) and inflation (23%) were top business problems.

According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, the percentage of business owners who plan to fill open positions is elevated. A seasonally adjusted 17% are planning to create new jobs within the next three months. Additionally, a seasonally adjusted net 40% report raising compensation, with a net 21% planning to do so in the next three months. Almost 1 in 10 (9%) say labor costs are their top business problem. 

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said that hiring remains a challenge for small business owners. “Optimism is not improving on Main Street as more owners struggle with finding qualified workers for their open positions,” he said.