WASHINGTON Aug 2 U.S. small businesses in July
reported cuts to their staff for a second straight month, the
National Federation of Independent Business said on Thursday in
the latest sign the economy has lost a step.
A survey by the NFIB of 1,803 small businesses found a 0.04
seasonally adjusted average change in employment per firm in the
three months through July. In June, the reading showed a 0.11
decline in workers per firm.
"Overall, there was no meaningful job creation," said NFIB
economist William Dunkelberg.
Still, employers see more hiring in the future. The survey,
which was announced ahead of Friday's U.S. payrolls data for
July, found a net 5 percent of small businesses plan to create
jobs, up from 3 percent in the prior month.
The Labor Department payrolls data, due for release at 8:30
a.m. (1230 GMT), is expected to show U.S. employers created
100,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey of
economists, after generating 80,000 positions in June.
Economists expect the U.S. jobless rate to hold at 8.2
percent in July.