63% of small business are now on hiring freeze, 10% laying off employees

The demand for labor in small businesses in the U.S. hit record-low in August as 63 percent are now putting their hiring on hold because they can’t afford to augment their workforce. Also, 10 percent of small businesses laid off employees last month.

These numbers were based from a recent Alignable Research Center poll. For comparison, 45 percent of small businesses had hiring freeze and four percent fired employees in July.

A total of 5,618 small business employers participated in the poll from Aug. 13 to Sept. 6. About 60 percent of the entrepreneurs said freezing hiring and firing their employees were inevitable as labor costs are at least 50 percent higher than they were pre-Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Twenty-nine percent lamented that payroll costs have doubled. Almost half of the respondents stated that they halted hiring due to economic factors, including general inflation, labor costs and fears of a recession. By state, 75 percent of New York small businesses stopped hiring, 74 percent in Ohio, and 68 percent in Pennsylvania.

Some 66 percent of small business owners say the country “is in a recession for sure,” with 28 percent adding it feels more like a “depression.”

Moreover, only 23 percent of small business owners say they have fully recovered financially from the worst years of COVID, which declined by two percent from July and down 20 percent from December 2021. This recovery rate is the lowest the Alignable Research Center has seen in more than a year. (Related: THANKS, BIDEN: Small businesses struggle as highest inflation in decades wrecks US economy.)

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