Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist, writes for Gallup:

 “…lawmakers could place a moratorium on new regulations for some period of time. In turn, this might provide the extra push needed to get small-business owners to decide to hire the employees they actually need and get the economy growing at a pace the average American can recognize as an economic recovery.”

Jacobe writes this in response to the most recent quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey. Although small business hiring conditions are the best they have been since 2008, they are still not exceptionally good with 22 percent saying they expect to hire more people and 8 percent saying they plan to reduce the number of jobs at their company. Moreover 66 percent say they are worried about the US economy and one in four fear they may not be in business one year from now.

85 percent of small business owners say they are not hiring; among these, the top reasons for not doing so include not needing additional employees, concerns about cash flows and the US economy. About half of this group listed potential health care costs and new government regulations as reasons for not hiring.

These results have several implications for government action. Some may look at these numbers and conclude government should spend additional money, or “stimulus” funds, to create cash flows and work projects for these companies to encourage them to hire. Others will look at this data and conclude government cannot artificially bolster sustained demand for these companies but instead should look to repeal excessive regulation and stop enacting new regulations.

Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Survey

Gallup’s Methodology

Results for the total dataset are based on telephone interviews with 600 small-business owners, conducted Jan. 9-13, 2012. For results based on the total sample of small-business owners, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Sampling is done on an RDD basis using Dun & Bradstreet sampling of small businesses having $20 million or less of sales or revenues. The data are weighted to be representative of U.S. small businesses within this size range nationwide.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit