SMB News Weekly Rundown

Welcome to the Small Business Weekly Rundown. Each week, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.


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Small Business News Highlights:

January sees 49,000 new jobs added to the economy; unemployment rate drops

“There’s no way to construe that this was not a weak jobs report.”

According to economists, there’s not much to smile about from the January jobs report. According to the report, the United States economy added a mere 49,000 new jobs last month, and showed sustained losses in the leisure and hospitality, retail, healthcare facilities, and transportation and warehousing sectors.

A year into the pandemic, and the U.S. is still down 12.5 million jobs from this time last year. Newly-confirmed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes, however, that we could see a full recovery by next year with President Joe Biden’s economic aid plan.

“We are still very far from a strong labor market whose benefits are broadly shared.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the real number is closer to 10%, citing misclassification errors about temporary workers.


Small businesses desperate to hire new employees

“The pandemic has undoubtedly made it more difficult for many workers to rejoin the workforce, while the expansion of unemployment benefits has likely also reduced the urgency to return to work.”

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) released data earlier this week indicating that many U.S. small businesses are continuing to struggle to fill open positions.

According to the NFIB, in January, up to a third of small businesses could not fill vacancies, and 28% of those positions were for skilled workers. This problem was especially pronounced in construction, with 56% of firms indicating that they had few or no qualified applicants.

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9 million small business owners believe their company won’t survive the pandemic

“I even Instacarted for a little bit in case we needed extra money. As a small business, we didn’t have a lot of cushion.”

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank highlights the dire position in which many small business owners find themselves as the pandemic continues. In fact, 3 out of 10 SBOs believe that they will be forced to close before the end of this year, equaling roughly 9 million American small businesses that will close permanently.

The outlook is especially bad for minority-owned businesses, with 8 out of 10 reporting that their company is in bad financial shape.


President Biden continue to push for additional $1,400 stimulus checks as Congress debates recipients

“I’m not cutting the size of the checks. They’re going to be $1,400. Period.”

As the House of Representatives drafts legislation for a new round of economic aid legislation, President Biden is standing behind his pledge to provide $1,400 direct cash payments to most Americans.

While there is still much partisan debate surrounding who should qualify for additional payments, and many Republicans favor capping the measure at $50,000 for an individual or $100,000 for a couple, many expect the payments to go to individuals making up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000.

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The Latest from Workest

Looking to modernize or shake up your organization for the better? Riia O’Donnell explains how incorporating a People Operations Leader into your HR department can improve operations and improve a positive, forward-thinking work culture.

Curious about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and how the latest round of economic stimulus legislation impacted it? Grace Ferguson explains the ins and outs of this tax credit for employers who hire qualified employees.

Finally, before we say goodbye for the week, here are 3 things you should know:

  1. The Harvard Business Review has 5 suggestions for bringing women back to the workforce.
  2. The House Committee on Education and Labor approved the $15 federal minimum wage proposed by President Biden.
  3. When your colleague appears in a Zoom meeting as a cat, chances are good that they haven’t actually turned into an animal and just don’t know how to turn the app’s filter feature off.



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