April 1, 2011 / 12:19 PM / 8 years ago

Small business hiring remains steady in March: NFIB

Small-business owner Ralph Gorham (R) speaks to employee Elijah Ocean at his shop "Redhook Lobster Pound" in New York December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pace of hiring by small businesses was steady in March from February, though the number of companies planning to create new jobs fell, a survey published on Friday showed.

The National Federation of Independent Business said its survey of 811 businesses found that job creation last month repeated February’s gains, “confirming that the number of net new jobs reported on Main Street was decidedly positive.”

“Unfortunately, the net percent of owners planning to create new jobs (increasing the total number of workers employed) lost 3 points, falling to a net 2 percent of all firms, low, but still 12 points better than the recession low reading of negative 10 percent reached in March 2009,” the NFIB said in a statement.

The economy now produces more output than at its peak in 2007 but uses 6.8 million fewer workers to do it, the small-business group said.

The economy is expected to have created 190,000 total non-farm jobs in March, according to a Reuters survey of economists for the government’s payrolls report, due Friday at 8:30 a.m.

Reporting by Padraic Cassidy; Editing by Kenneth Barry

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