New Survey Shows National Small Business Economic Sentiment in Unprecedented Geographic Detail

Thumbtack.com and Bloomberg Release Survey of More Than 10,000 Nationwide Respondents;
Broad Improvement Seen Over 2+ Years of Data Collected So Far Shows a Slow and Steady Recovery

united-statesSAN FRANCISCO, CA — May 19, 2015 — Thumbtack.com today released the Thumbtack Small Business Sentiment Survey, a first-of-its-kind survey that captures the economic sentiment of more than 10,000 small businesses nationwide on a monthly basis. Starting today, and released on a monthly basis going forward, the survey and accompanying visualization allow anyone to explore American small business economic sentiment at the national and local level. Designed with Bloomberg, all data will be housed and integrated seamlessly into the economic functions of the Bloomberg Professional service.The U.S. Economic Census shows that over 90% of small businesses in the United States have five employees or fewer. Thumbtack’s survey is the first small business survey whose respondents reflect this specific demographic. While there are various indexes and surveys that seek to measure small business sentiment, there are no other surveys that have enough responses from businesses of this size to examine results at a state or city level.

Via its network of more than 150,000 active service professionals, Thumbtack has the unique capability to regularly survey this otherwise difficult-to-reach population.

We are excited to be able to share this new survey, which will capture the sentiment of thousands of small businesses nationwide on a monthly basis, said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack. Many of these business owners have few or no employees, and are often overlooked in other widely-tracked business surveys. We hope to offer new insights and a better understanding into what’s happening in this critical segment of the nation’s workforce and the American economy.

The inaugural version of the survey shows a slow and steady recovery among America’s smallest businesses:

  • Overall sentiment has risen 5 points (out of a scale of 100) over the last year.
  • Employers are generally feeling better about the economy than business owners who operate alone – there was a consistent 4 point spread between the two groups.
  • Expectations for inflation remain well in check, though Thumbtack’s proprietary Inflation Index shows that over the last year, business owners have increased their expectations of what they will pay their employees.
  • Small business owners are overwhelmingly optimistic about the future, consistently ranking their expectations of their future financial situation 15 to 20 points higher than their financial situation today.
  • The strongest growth in overall sentiment has been seen amongst the construction and transportation industries

The full results can be seen here and include details on the relative sentiment of each state and city, how businesses in each area responded to survey questions, and hundreds of quotes from small businesses nationwide. Each state and city also has its own dedicated webpage showing detailed survey results for that area.

Bloomberg Professional service customers can access this data and additional industry level analysis.

Survey methodology
Thumbtack.com has surveyed tens of thousands of small businesses quarterly since December 2012. The survey asked questions about how small businesses are feeling about the general economic environment and health of their business, such as:

  • How would you rate your company’s financial situation today?
  • Have you attempted to fill any part-time or full-time positions over the past three months?
  • How do you expect the prices you charge to your clients or customers to change over the next three months?

Thumbtack.com and Bloomberg then used the survey responses to create a weighted index that demonstrates Small Business Economic Sentiment in one easy-to-understand number between 0 and 100 – an index score above 50 means sentiment is positive; an index score below 46 means sentiment is negative. The full methodology paper can be found here. Beginning in March, 2015, Thumbtack began collecting results monthly for this new survey. Survey results will be released the last week of the month going forward.

For more information about the survey or the methodology, please email Thumbtack’s Chief Economist Jon Lieber at [email protected].

About Thumbtack
Thumbtack is a consumer service that helps millions of people accomplish the personal projects that are central to their lives. Launched in December 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, Thumbtack introduces customers to experienced professionals who are available, interested and qualified to meet their specific needs. Whether looking for a painter for their home, a math tutor for their child, or a DJ for their wedding, Thumbtack provides anyone in the U.S. with an easy and dependable way to get started, compare options, and hire with confidence. Thumbtack helps customers with 5+ million projects per year by introducing them to available and qualified professionals within hours. With service professionals representing more than 950 categories and operating in all 50 U.S. states, the company currently has more than 150,000 paying professionals available for customers. Thumbtack has raised a total of $150 million from Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Javelin Venture Partners, and Google Capital.

Press contacts
Jon Lieber
650-271-9627
[email protected]

Michele Husak
650-291-9911
[email protected]

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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