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The Small-Business Hiring Outlook? Two More Years Wandering in the Desert

Small businesses, like my 53-person outfit, see no reason whatsoever to do anything but hold tight to our cash for the next two years.
December 20, 2010 - by Jeff Pope h/t Pajamas Media

My company employs 53 people and is in the business of providing fabricated components to equipment manufacturers. Roughly 50% of our sales are for export, with the remaining concentrated in the Midwest where our plant is located. We would be classified as a low- to medium-technology machining and fabrication company.

In short, we have been right in the middle of the worst economic conditions since the late 1970s. I speak only for myself here, but I do know that in my circle the views expressed here are not unique or original, rather they are nearly universal. We are the people who are reluctant to hire new people in order to protect our businesses.

“Small businesses are where jobs are created” is a common refrain from politicians and pundits these days. Suddenly the entrepreneurial business owner has been discovered as the hero of job creation for the whole country. And also its nemesis: witness their stubborn reluctance to expand and hire new workers. While the majority of the commentariat attributes this reluctance to uncertainty over taxes and health care costs, the reality runs much deeper. The problem is an ever more serious concern that political Washington will cause enough damage to the economy to cause long-term conditions in which small businesses won’t be able to survive.

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