US Small-Business Owners’ Hiring Plans Decline for a Third Month

US small-business owners dialed back hiring plans for a third-straight month in December and a smaller share had unfilled positions, as firms continued to face high labor costs and a lack of qualified candidates.

A net 17% of small companies planned to add workers, down 1 percentage point from the prior month and the fewest in almost two years, according to data out Thursday from the National Federation of Independent Business. 

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