U.S. small businesses put hiring on pause in June after five straight months of solid increases, but the outlook for the labor market remained relatively upbeat, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The National Federation of Independent Business said its monthly survey of members found hiring was little changed last month. NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg said that sets the stage for an increase in the unemployment rate.
Continue Reading Below
"Overall, June was a disappointment although not a disaster," Dunkelberg said.
Fifty-two percent of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire, with 44 percent of those reporting few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.
Twenty-four percent reported job openings they could not fill, down from 29 percent in May, the NFIB said.
The share of business owners looking to increase employment dropped six points, to 16 percent, while those planning reductions was up two points, at 6 percent.
The survey was one dark spot on a day when several positive economic reports were released. It followed a report earlier on Thursday that showed U.S. private employers hired the most workers in six months in June, and a separate reading showing factory activity accelerated.
The ADP National Employment Report showed 237,000 jobs were created, handily exceeding the median expectation among economists surveyed by Reuters for a gain of 218,000 jobs.
The ADP report, which is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics, came ahead of the government's more comprehensive employment report on Thursday.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased 230,000 jobs in June after a robust 280,000 gain in May. The unemployment rate was forecast dipping one-tenth of a percentage point back to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent.
(Reporting by Megan Cassella; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)