U.S. small business optimism edged up in February amid signs of tightening labor market conditions, bolstering the view that a recent slowdown in economic activity will be temporary.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index gained 0.1 point to 98 last month, the third highest reading since early 2007.
The survey of 716 small business owners found 29 percent could not fill open positions, the highest level since April, 2006. Fourteen percent of them cited the shortage of skilled labor as their top problem, the highest since September, 2007.
“There are fundamental domestic economic currents leading owners to add workers and these should bubble up in the official statistics and support stronger growth in domestic output,” said William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the NFIB.
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