December Job Growth Weak at Small Businesses: NFIB

WASHINGTON - Job growth in December at small businesses remained weak, with more employers planning to cut jobs than add, according to a business group survey on Friday.

A slowdown in layoffs would aid job creation, the National Federation of Independent Business said. "But there is no real strength in job growth because there is no real strength in spending," the group said in a statement.

Over the next three months, 15% of businesses plan to reduce employment and 8% plan to create new jobs, the group said.

Also on Friday, the Labor Department released the December non-farm payrolls report showing that U.S. employers sliced 85,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate remained steady at 10.0%, off its high of 10.2% it set in October.

The NFIB said there is no indication that job growth will be strong enough to dramatically reduce the unemployment rate.