(The Center Square) – Facing labor shortages and challenges to find new revenue streams, small businesses appear to be hiring mostly temporary workers.
Alignable, a small business networking website, shows temporary hiring hit a new high this summer while full time hires have plummeted.
Head researcher Chuck Casto said Illinois small business owners have shown a steady commitment to temporary hiring.
“Twenty-five percent, so a quarter of Illinois small businesses are focused on hiring temporary workers so that they can hopefully build up their revenues and continue to try to rebound,” Casto told The Center Square.
Casto added that small business employers are trying to boost sluggish revenues while dodging the added expenses of full-time staffers.
According to the survey, inflation remains the No. 1 concern for small business owners, with questions over increasing revenues a close second. Only 33% of small businesses are making as much or more monthly in 2023 than they did this time last year.
Nationally, 40% of small business owners said increasing interest rates are taking a toll on their businesses, and that U.S. policy of raising rates to combat inflation is backfiring among small businesses.
The University of Illinois Flash Index, a measure of the state’s economy, rose slightly in July to 103.2. Any reading of the index above 100 indicates economic growth. According to the authors, the combination of moderating inflation and an unexpectedly strong second-quarter GDP growth rate of 2.4% has led to optimism for the economy.
Casto said their survey showed many small business owners remain concerned about the dreaded “R” word, recession.
“Thirty percent said we’re in one, and overall about 50% said that there is one right around the corner,” Casto said.
The study’s findings are based on a poll of 4,619 randomly selected small business owners nationwide conducted from July 2 to July 31, 2023.
A bill increasing the rights of temporary workers was recently signed into law by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. One of the most significant amendments to the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act requires temporary workers assigned to work at a third-party client for more than 90 days must be paid not less than the rate of pay and equivalent benefits as the third-party’s lowest paid worker.