Daily Video

December 5, 2011

Why Are Small Businesses Reluctant to Hire?

Small businesses have been at the center of the political debate of the American jobs crisis for a while, and many people wonder why they are not hiring as many workers as in the past. Some small business owners in Nashville, Tennessee say uncertainty and government regulations are keeping them from hiring new employees.

One business owner says he supports the ideals of the Republican Party because they advocate for less government and, therefore, fewer government rules that drive up his expenses. But, he adds that a lack of customer demand for his products is also adding to his business woes, pointing to the still-lagging economy.

Almost all business owners interviewed in Nashville agreed that the only way to overcome uncertainty in their businesses that leads them not to hire is to make sure the customer demand is there.


“The policy of the Republican Party is less government in our lives. We can create jobs when the government stays off of our back. It’s that simple.” – Bobby Joslin, small business owner

“We’re not going to shut down business for the next two years to see who gets elected and see what changes they make.” – Travis Copley, small business owner

Warm Up Questions

1. What is a small business? Can you name some small businesses in your community?

2. If you were going to go look for a job, where would you look? Why?

3. What is unemployment?

Discussion Questions

1. Why is unemployment a bad thing for a country?

2. Why is customer demand an essential part of running a successful business? How would increased demand help hiring?

3. Why do you think politicians are so focused on American small businesses? Why do they matter to the economy?

Additional Resources

Video Transcript

NewsHour Extra Economics Coverage

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