NEW YORK (AP) - Small businesses created no jobs last month, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Federation of Independent Business.
The small business advocacy group said the survey of its members shows that small businesses lost an average of 0.05 workers in August. That reading, which NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelbergcalled "essentially zero," showed that business owners remain reluctant to hire because of uncertainty about the economy and the November elections.
The NFIB said 78 percent of the business owners who participated in the survey made no changes in employment over the last three months. Twelve percent added an average 2.7 workers and 10 percent cut their payrolls an average of 2.5 workers.
Dunkelberg predicted that the trend of little or no job growth would continue for the coming months.
"Any serious job creation this year will have to come from large firms or new small firms created to meet the needs of millions of new consumers due to population growth," Dunkelberg said. "But existing small businesses are unlikely to expand before the election."
The survey was at odds with a report from payroll company ADP, which said small businesses hired at a faster pace last month, adding 99,000 jobs. That was an increase from the 77,000 added in July. The reports are compiled from different sources. The NFIB used anecdotal evidence from a survey of 736 of its members. The ADP report is compiled from payroll data from about 270,000 of its 500,000 business clients in the U.S.
Another look at small business hiring comes on Friday, when the Labor Department releases its report on employment during August.