Home Economy Both big and small businesses struggle in current economy

Both big and small businesses struggle in current economy


(NewsNation) — The job market really heated up after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, but now there are signs it’s slowing again, with major companies starting to rescind job offers they made just weeks ago.

Companies including Redfin, Coinbase and Twitter are among the big firms pulling out of agreements they made with prospective employees. More than 21,000 tech workers have lost their jobs so far this year.

Other companies such as Netflix, Peleton, Carvana and Tesla, are laying off employees they currently have.

Although hiring in the tech sector as a whole has remained strong, some tech job-seekers are now facing cost cuts and hiring freezes amid four-decade-high inflation, a war raging in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic, Reuters reports.

It’s not much easier for small business owners. Rick White, owner of the Bier & Cheese Collective in New York, said he’s bracing for the next six months.

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“I’m waiting for the fuel surcharges to start kicking in,” he told NewsNation.

White isn’t alone in his fears. The National Federation of Independent Business, which analyzes small business economic trends and data, found that only 54% of small-business owners expect better business conditions over the next six months. That’s the lowest level in the history of the 48-year-old-survey.
Expectations have declined every month since January.

“It’s kind of tough for us to get a gauge because we’re up and we’re down,” White said.

In fact, 72% of owners have reported raising average selling prices — up 32 points from just a year ago.

At The Bier & Cheese Collective, White said he had to raise prices in a few different areas, “but we’re trying to keep them as static as we can.”

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Unemployment is at historically low levels in some states, yet for many small businesses, finding the right people — or any people — to work is a challenge.

“Not only is there a shallow labor pool right now, but the labor pool for specific businesses is also shallow,” White said.

In the first quarter, 51% of small business owners reported openings that could not be filled, while
92% of those hiring or trying to hire found few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.

In fact, places surveyed ranked labor quality as their top business problem outside of inflation.

“You’d have people come in from the neighborhood who thought it would be great to work in a cheese shop … with no experience whatsoever,” White said. “You may have a great personality but you might not be cut out for retail.”

Thomson Reuters contributed to this report.

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