The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of business optimism declined to 96.7 in June from 98.5 in May. Only 9% of respondent firms said they planned to expand hiring. This is down 5% from May. The percentage of small businesses calling this a good time to expand also dropped to 13% from 18%.
Even though many of the respondent firms do not plan to expand their hiring efforts, 25% report unfilled job openings and 12% of owners said finding qualified workers was still their top problem.
Next week, the Fed Chairman goes before Congress to present an updated economic outlook. Many will be watching for insights as to whether interest rates will rise again for the 18th consecutive time.
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