Small Business Optimism Index: Discouraged

On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its latest report outlining  economic trends for small businesses throughout the United States. The report summarizes responses from participants in an effort to better understand the issues affecting small and independent businesses throughout its national membership. When taken as a whole, the report serves an indication of the level of optimism participating entrepreneurs have toward their operations in the economy. 

In their responses, participants expressed lower levels of optimism compared to months previous, citing issues concerning labor, inflation, and lower expected future sales as leading contributors to their diminished confidence.

Optimism is not improving on Main Street as more owners struggle with finding qualified workers for their open positions,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation remains a top concern for small businesses but is showing signs of easing.” 

In their research, NFIB posed a variety of questions to survey participants to best understand the employment issues facing small and independent business owners. Respondents noted little to no interest in available positions, despite efforts to incentivize applicants through increased wages. While employer demand for skilled labor outpaced the desire for unskilled labor, the phenomenon applied to vacancies for both groups. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor reported a slight drop in national unemployment with increased hirings in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and social assistance. 

As an organization that  serves to promote small, local businesses, Indiana Owned is greatly interested in the opinions of Hoosier business owners. Do the results from the NFIB survey mimic your sentiments? Email our team at to share your thoughts on the matter!


About NFIB

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a member-based organization that is committed to representing the interests of small and independent businesses in public policy. Through a network of regional offices, the nonprofit organization advocates for its members and their interests in Congress, state capitals, the courts, and media.