The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary for October today, showing a surprising decrease in job openings to 8.7 million, with notable declines in health care, social assistance, finance, insurance, and real estate. Hires and total separations remained relatively stable at 5.9 million and 5.6 million, respectively.
The findings this month confirm the October Freedom Economy Index indicated that demand for talent is quickly growing stagnant given lingering recession fears.
The survey of 70,0000 small business owners, a joint project of RedBalloon and PublicSquare, revealed that business owners are shelving their hiring plans and avoiding major staffing changes, with a record high of 68% now saying they are neither hiring nor reducing staff.
"This is a sad report for American businesses going into the Christmas season,” RedBalloon CEO, Andrew Crapuchettes, added. “People are cutting back on hiring because they are nervous about the Fed and Bidenomics.”
So what's to be done for a merry Christmas? With the holiday season approaching, this report seems like the last thing on small businesses' wish list. The hope of these business owners is that feedback like FEI will be used by policymakers and business leaders to address their concerns and work towards creating policies that encourages hiring and growth.
The October 2023 Freedom Economy survey sampled a universe of over 70,000 small businesses from October 25-30, with 905 respondents and a 3% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.
Read the full FEI here.