The CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index dropped back down to a low last seen exactly a year ago, an index score of 42 out of 100. Here are some key highlights from our latest survey of more than 2,000 small business owners, fielded August 7-14, 2023.
Few small business owners support a growth in organized labor, especially at their own companies
- 47% of small business owners say labor unions today have “too much power and influence,” compared with just 28% of people in the general public who say the same
- Most (59%) small business owners would oppose an increase in unionization at their company, including 42% who say they would strongly oppose such a change. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation is the only industry whose small business owners support an increase in unionization.
- Most of this split is driven by partisanship, with 68% of small business owners who are Democrats, 47% who are independents, and 20% who are Republicans saying they support an increase in unionization at their company
- Opinion is more mixed regarding whether labor unions are good or bad for working people in general, with 38% of small business owners saying they are good, 31% bad, and 29% saying neither good nor bad.
- Responses among the general population tip much more favorably towards labor union support, with 48% saying unions are mostly good for working people, 15% saying they are mostly bad, and 33% undecided.
- Some 11% of small business owners are members of labor unions themselves, exactly matching the rate among the general population
Confidence overall and in Biden both decline, matching last year’s low mark
- Small Business Confidence drops back down to a score of 42 out of 100, matching the all-time low from exactly one year ago (42 in Q3’22)
- The biggest drivers of this decrease in confidence were:
- An increasing share of small business owners who expect a negative effect on their business due to immigration policy (up from 31% in Q2 to 36% now)
- An increasing share of small business owners who expect a negative effect on their business due to tax policy (up from 57% in Q2 to 60% now)
- A slight decrease in the share of small business owners who expect their headcount to increase in the next year (down from 28% in Q2 to 25% now)
- A dip in the share of small business owners who say current business conditions are good (down from 40% in Q2 to 38% now)
- Confidence in President Biden also drops to match the same level as Q3 2022, with 31% approving and 68% disapproving of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president
- Small Business Confidence among Biden’s supporters reached a new low, with those who approve of the job Biden is doing as president reporting an overall confidence score of just 55, down from 60 from last quarter. On the other side, those who disapprove of Biden’s presidency have an overall confidence score of 37, down slightly from last quarter’s 39 but well within the range of scores over the course of Biden’s presidency.
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: