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Gauging Main Street Hiring: A Chill in October

Gauging Main Street Hiring: A Chill in October
Photograph by Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Small employers’ confidence soured in October, as firms hired fewer workers and reduced expectations for future growth, according to a bunch of recent surveys. That’s no surprise. A partial shutdown of the federal government last month halted Small Business Administration lending, stopped work on federal contracts, and cost the government about $2 billion in lost productivity.

That doesn’t mean recent research yields a full consensus. Gauging small companies’ hiring depends on how you define “small,” as well as doing the counting, and as usual, the New Entrepreneur’s roundup of monthly hiring reports shows mixed results.