About four in 10 firms across all middle-market revenue segments queried by the National Center For the Middle Market have added to their employee ranks over the past 12 months, according to executive director Thomas A. Stewart. In a video report, Stewart noted that 34% of small and middle-market businesses expect to add to their payroll in the year ahead.
Meanwhile, the Middle Market Power Index report, compiled and released by American Express and Dun & Bradstreet, indicates that while the total number of all commercially active firms declined between 2011 and 2016, the number of middle-market companies in existence has nearly doubled (up 87%). Middle-market companies have led job growth over the past five years, the report said, employing nearly 53 million workers. This is more than double the number of workers employed by such entities in 2011, according to the report.
In the index, middle-market firms are defined as those that generate $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenues. “Middle-market companies continue to have an outsize influence on the U.S. economy,” Jeff Stibel, vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, said in a company statement. “These firms have led the charge (in) hiring Americans and…play a pivotal role in our rapidly changing economy.”
Meanwhile, global market research provider Hunt Scanlon Media reported that middle-market firms are indeed in hiring mode. In a blog post, the company said 84% of firms polled by recruiting services firm LaSalle Network noted that they are hiring employees for full-time positions, and that 70% of respondents feel optimistic about the economy for the remainder of 2016. Leaders within the healthcare, technology, and education industries were more optimistic about their firms’ hiring plans than their counterparts in other industries. “The economy is strong and has been strong for a while,” Tom Gimbel, LaSalle Network founder and CEO, said in the blog. “Companies are hiring and investing resources into their businesses again, especially in high growth sectors like technology and healthcare.”
The Hunt Scanlon Media blog also cited a job forecast by CareerBuilders, which indicated that 36% of employers, including many in the middle-market sector, intend to add full-time, permanent employees in 2016. “Comparing industries, financial services (46%), information technology (44%), and healthcare (43%) are expected to out-perform the national average for employers adding full-time staff. Manufacturing (37%) is expected to mirror the national average,” the blog concluded.
Moreover, according to Stewart, 88% of middle-market firms intend to raise salaries this year. This, he noted, demonstrates that the less-than-entirely-stable economy isn’t interfering with middle-market companies’ plans for growth. Salary-wise, they are ahead of the pack, he said.
While your company may not be ready to put out the “help wanted” shingle or increase employee wages, doing so when the time is ripe would, given these recent trends, bode well for your competitive edge going forward.