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Small business owners expect to pay higher wages

Small Business Activity Ahead Of Small Business Optimism ReportSmall Business Activity Ahead Of Small Business Optimism Report
A small business in Princeton, Ill.Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg/Getty Images

A national survey of small-business owners shows an increase in the number of businesses raising their workers’ wages in June.

A seasonally-adjusted net 21% of small businesses surveyed last month by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported higher worker compensation. That number is up one percentage point from the previous month and it represents one of the group’s better readings in the category since 2008, when the nation sank into the financial crisis. What’s more, a net 13% of small businesses said they plan to raise wages even further in the coming months, a number that is actually down two points from the previous survey, but which still registers among the stronger readings of the past six years.

In releasing its survey Tuesday, the NFIB noted the reported compensation gains “are now solidly in the range typical of an economy with solid growth.”

Meanwhile, the survey showed that optimism among small business owners was down in June, as fewer business owners expected the economy to improve in the second half of the year. After improving each of the previous three months, the NFIB’s Optimism Index dropped 1.6 points to 95 in June, the group reported.