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Small Business Hiring Stagnant In Oregon

SALEM, Ore. - New unemployment numbers released Friday show the nation's jobless rate dropped slightly last month. But in Oregon, a new report this week shows that small businesses are still struggling to add jobs.

The report from the payroll firm Intuit shows job growth at Oregon employers with fewer than 20 workers dropped last month. While the drop was just 0.5 percent, it was the sharpest decline among the 15 largest states where the firm does business.

One small business watcher says he thinks he knows why. Scott Sadler is with the Chemeketa College Small Business Development Center in Salem.

"The small business owner is being very innovative in their use of human capital by delegating more things to their current staff," he explains. "And the owners are taking on more responsibilities for themselves to operate the business rather than hiring."

But Sadler says that while existing small businesses are tightening their belts, the center has seen a dramatic upswing in people wanting to start a business. He attributes that to unemployed people getting tired of trying to find work elsewhere and attempting to start out on their own instead.

In the same report from Intuit, small business hiring in Washington state rose by 0.3 percent.

On the Web:

Intuit Small Business report:

Oregon Small Business Development Centers:

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.