CHICAGO, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A major driver of the U.S. economy is feeling more optimistic. Small businesses with 250 or fewer employees are reporting stronger sales and increased hiring plans, according to CareerBuilder’s latest nationwide study. Nearly one-third (32 percent) said their sales increased over the last two quarters (October 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012) and nearly half (46 percent) expect sales to increase over the next two quarters (April 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012). Nineteen percent added full-time, permanent employees over the last two quarters and 24 percent expect to add full-time, permanent employees over the next two quarters. The study, conducted by Harris Interactive© from February 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 1,000 small businesses with 250 or fewer employees across industries.
Small businesses are also playing a key role in retraining workers and reducing the talent deficit in the U.S. In another CareerBuilder study conducted by Harris Interactive in February 2012, 40 percent of small businesses with 250 or fewer employees reported they have action plans in place to help alleviate the gap between high-demand positions and the amount of skilled workers available to fill those jobs. Half (51 percent) plan to train workers who do not have experience in their industry or field, and hire them.