Small business owners were slightly more optimistic about the economy last month compared to January. The National Federation of Independent Business reports its Optimism Index rose to 95.8 in February, but its Uncertainty Index decreased five points.
The Optimism Index shows 40% of small business owners had job openings they couldn't fill, an increase of seven percentage points compared to January.
The federation's chief economist says the economic recovery is uneven for small businesses, especially where COVID-19 restrictions continue.
In Illinois, State Director Mark Grant says Governor JB Pritzker's proposal to eliminate tax deductions would slow the state's economic recovery.
Comments on the report from the NFIB website: "The Main Street economy is bifurcated. Construction, manufacturing, transportation, and professional services are doing well. Other services, restaurants, and retail (non-internet) are doing poorly. Employment is still 8-10 million below levels reached in January and February of 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic was more broadly recognized."