Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.
It’s a rollercoaster today. Small business lending is rising, job openings are falling, and the home healthcare system is facing a serious worker shortage.
The approval percentage rate for small business loans from big banks hit a record high in March. On the other hand, approvals from smaller institutions dropped a fraction of a percent, most likely due to lenders waiting to see results from last year’s tax filings. Incremental rate hikes from the Federal Reserve appear to be on hold and the Bureau of Labor statistic reported 196,000 new jobs, contributing to overall optimism about the state of the economy.
The Number: 27.3%. In March of this year, 27.3% of small business loan applications were approved from banks with $10+ billion in assets.
The Quote: “Small business loan-making has proven to be profitable and relatively low risk for institutional lenders, which explains their continued growth in the marketplace.”
Meanwhile, the number of open jobs at US businesses saw a sharp decline in February after a record high in January, per the Department of Labor. There are still more open jobs than unemployed people in the country, though employers appear to be slowing their hiring ahead of a predicted economic downshift. Job growth surged in the healthcare and service sectors last month, however.
The Number: 7.1 million. According to numbers released yesterday by the Department of Labor, there are 7.1 million open jobs in the country–the lowest number in years. The number of unemployed people currently sits at 6.2 million.
The Quote: “For the nearly 20 years that the data has been kept, the situation has typically been the reverse: there were more people seeking work than jobs available. But last spring job openings pulled ahead.”
Add another concern to the growing list of issues facing home healthcare companies: a significant shortage of skilled workers. A lack of benefits and overtime pay, CMS reimbursement caps and increasing minimum wages across the nation all contribute to the difficulty home health companies have filling openings. The pool of workers itself is aging, with 45% of the workforce currently between the ages of 45 and 64.
The Number: 41%. Home health aide job openings are expected to grow by 41% by 2026, outpacing the 7% growth rate for all other occupations.
The Quote: “These are workers taking $10-an-hour jobs, often without benefits, to provide services to extremely vulnerable people, doing work that 99.9 percent of the population would like to avoid doing.”
Only 2 out of 3 people in this country, it turns out. A recent survey concludes that many Americans workers believe they will struggle financially in retirement if they’re able to retire at all. The survey included Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers and found that all three generations have reason to be concerned.
The Number: ¼. Despite concerns about financial security in retirement, a quarter of Baby Boomers have already made withdrawals from their retirement plan.
The Quote: “Millennials underestimated how much they’ll need in retirement…”