Index Snapshots

The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index decreased slightly to 69.3, after six consecutive quarterly increases.

Small businesses seeking to hire new talent report that the candidate pool leaves room for improvement, with 20% rating the quality of the candidates as poor and a mere 9% rating candidates as very good.

Of those small business owners struggling to find and hire qualified candidates, approximately 80% are having to work more hours and take on more roles at work.

Compared to other sectors, manufacturing businesses are having an especially tough time finding candidates with the right skills (78%) and experience (81%) located in their area (73%).

Compared to other sectors, manufacturing businesses are having an especially tough time finding candidates with the right skills (78%) and experience (81%) located in their area (73%).

58% of small business owners think that the US economy is in good health, surpassing last quarter's previous high of 55%.

The number of small businesses rating their local economy as somewhat good or very good has increased to 56% in the current quarter, up from 46% in Q1.

More than a quarter of small businesses say they plan to invest more in their company and hire more staff in the coming year.

The South leads the country in percentage of businesses expecting increased revenue (68%), hiring (40%), and investment (38%).

The vast majority of larger small businesses (100+ employees) report that their businesses are in good health.

Fifty-five percent of larger small businesses (100+ employees) say that they hired new staff last year, compared with about a quarter of businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Perceptions about the local and national economy are at their highest point this quarter since the inception of the Small Business Index.