Rising costs have put a damper on small-business hiring.
"The economy certainly is not overheating in the small-business world," says Michael Alter, president of payroll service firm SurePayroll. The Skokie, Illinois, company's latest quarterly report on small-business payrolls, released in April, suggests Alter may be understating the hiring chill that's currently gripping entrepreneurs.
Year-to-date growth in the SurePayroll Hiring Index, which measures changes in small-business size, is less than one-half of one-tenth of a percentage point. Alter says the rising costs of capital and fuel have made small employers cautious. Interest rates are double what they were one year ago, he notes, and fuel costs have skyrocketed, while business owners' ability to raise prices is limited. "Your prices are fixed, your costs are all going up--it's hard to hire people and grow," he says.
4th of July Subscription Sale - Unlock this subscriber exclusive article and more for 20% off today.
Access all Entrepreneur content with no ads, unlock discounts, and get exclusive advice only available to our subscribers. Plus, our magazine delivered straight to your door.
Get 20% off an annual subscription today. Just use code SAVE20 at checkout.
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Formerly Enslaved Black Man Nearest Green Taught Jack Daniel Everything He Knew About Whiskey. Today, the Founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Celebrates His Legacy.
Leadership Lessons From the Exclusive Creativity School That 'Packs 5 Years Learning Into 5 Days'
3 Expert-Backed Strategies for Staying Calm in Times of Confrontation
The CEO of Wayfair Has Helped Revolutionize Digital Shopping for 20 Years. Here's How He Handles Rocky Economic Conditions.
This Founder Went to Prison When He Was 15 Years Old. That's Where He Came Up With the Idea for a Company Now Backed By John Legend.
3 Signs You're Letting Pride Get in the Way of Being Successful
Chip and Joanna Gaines and Shonda Rhimes Found Incredible Success By Using This One Entrepreneurial Strategy. Here's How You Can Too.