Small businesses employ almost half of all workers in the United States and, through hiring, have been responsible for much of the economic recovery since the 2008 recession. Over the past year, hiring activity has been on an upward trend for small businesses, with plans to add workers hitting the highest level since 1999.

Interestingly, there is a growing shift in the types of jobs generated by small businesses. While the number of firms that employ full-time workers has remained relatively flat, non-employer businesses (also called “solopreneurs”) have been increasing. There has also been a marked increase in the “gig economy,” which describes the use of contractors and part-time workers to fill roles within businesses.

SCORE’s latest installment of “The Megaphone of Main Street” data report series delves into the story behind the changing face of U.S. small business hiring and employment.

This data report covers three critical aspects of small business hiring:

Part I: “Small Businesses and Employment”
This section explores small business hiring, including where small business owners are finding qualified workers, and the specific challenges they face in filling open positions. More than half of small business owners found it difficult to fill their hiring needs in the past six months, with more than a quarter stating they were unable to fill job openings.

Part II: “The Impact of the ‘Gig’ Economy”
Learn about the employment of part-time and full-time workers who help to run a business, as well as the owner’s motivation for choosing one type of worker over another. While the small businesses surveyed were increasing hiring across the board, the greatest growth was found in gig-economy positions.

Part III: “Small Business Owner Sentiments Are Overwhelmingly Positive”
This shows that today’s entrepreneurs are firmly optimistic, despite a few marked areas of concern around policies that favor large businesses, and difficulties finding qualified workers and providing them with desirable salaries and healthcare benefits.
 

Download the Data Report
 

Download Infographic #1: Small Businesses and Employment

 

Download Infographic #2: The Gig Economy

 

Download Infographic #3: Small Business Owner Sentiment

The Megaphone of Main Street: Small Business Jobs Report, Fall 2017