Small businesses getting smaller

Recent survey shows hiring in U.S. outpaced by lay-offs

More American small-business owners report laying off employees rather than hiring new ones over the past year, according to a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey. The survey put the nation’s net hiring index at -12, up from the low of -27 recorded in January 2010, but still well below the net hiring increase of 13 percentage points recorded in late 2004. Concern about health-care costs associated with implementation of the Affordable Care Act was cited by one in five small-business owners as their reason for dismissing employees.