The December Hiring report from Alignable Research Center showed multiple negative trends for small businesses hiring practices in the holiday season. Most notably, there was an increase in Illinois’ small-business hiring freezes. State Senator Jil Tracy says the report shows that Illinois has the highest percentage of small-business hiring freezes in the country at 82 percent of small businesses planning on not hiring additional staff until at least the spring of 2023.
Collectively, small businesses are unable to afford additional staff due to inflation, reduced revenues, high labor costs, and an overall fear of recession. Of the data collected, the hardest hit businesses were those in agriculture, real estate, and finance.
This quarter’s data does not follow previous years’ trends, where small businesses usually hire extra help during the holiday shopping season. While last year 36 percent hired additional part-time workers, this quarter’s percentage was only 6-9 percent.
While most small businesses have only instituted hiring freezes, 11 percent of owners have planned for layoffs in December. This increased 8 percent from November. While not the highest state percentage in America, it is only smaller than five other states, placing Illinois in the top ten for number of small businesses planning layoffs.