Hiring by small businesses boomed in the fourth quarter of 2001, mirroring the pattern at the end of the recession of the early 1990s and possibly signalling that the economy is poised to rebound.
Two thirds of job seekers went to small businesses in the fourth quarter of last year, according to figures from outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas (CGC), representing a 22 per cent increase on the second-quarter average.
The recovery from the 1991 recession was preceded by a first-quarter jump in the percentage of job seekers going to small firms to 69 per cent, 30 per cent higher than the figure recorded two quarters earlier.
CGC chief executive John Challenger said: "The similarity between the current situation and 1990-1991 is not a coincidence. Small businesses are less insulated from changes in the economy compared to large corporations.
"Small businesses are simply better suited to react quickly to those changes because they lack the bureaucracy common in most large corporations."
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