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Gauging Small Business Hiring in December

Patience helped in 2013 while keeping track of the various surveys that aim to describe small business owners’ sentiment. Hiring slowed slightly one month, and ticked up the next. The overall outlook darkened following the partial shutdown of the federal government in October, then reversed itself. Of course, “small business” is a slippery term, and surveys varied based on who was doing the research and how they defined “small.”

Case in point: Two surveys published in the last days of 2013 showed small business owners with markedly different expectations for the year ahead: