Small Businesses Ramp Up Hiring

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — One in five small businesses plan to hire more full-time employees as the economy rebounds and companies feel more confident about the future, according to a recent PNC survey.

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The survey found that 22% of small businesses will ramp up their hiring, which is a 6% increase from 2013 and the largest increase since 2012. Business owners are also optimistic and 32% plan to increase the salaries of their employees, which is a 10% increase since last fall.

"This is going to be the best year for job growth since the recession started," said Gus Faucher, senior economist for PNC Financial Services Group, a Pittsburgh, Penn. financial institution. "Businesses are experiencing stronger demand for their goods and services and will increase their hiring to meet that demand."

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Over one-third or 37% of owners are optimistic about their own company's prospects during the next six months, up significantly from 22% last fall, according to the survey. Their optimism is fueled by higher expectations for the next six months as 55% anticipate increased sales and 41% anticipate higher profits, the most for both since 2012.

"Things are more upbeat for small business, because there are signs of recovery and they are getting to the point where they are more confident about the future," he said.

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The demand stems mainly from businesses having additional access to capital as credit availability has improved, Faucher said. With low interest rates, companies have the ability to borrow money to invest in software, equipment and other capital needs. The survey found that 15% of small businesses said they would probably or definitely take out a new loan or line of credit.