Optimism is growing about the U.S. jobs market. Fewer people are applying for unemployment benefits, and hiring is up. The lion's share of new jobs are coming from small and medium-sized firms. But even if the economy comes roaring back, many small businesses aren't likely to hire with wild abandon.
"It's a huge commitment, when you're a very small firm, to add someone," says Kate O'Sullivan, director of content for CFO magazine. "And I think that the outlook is still not completely firm."
Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. The House Passes JOBS Act:
Saying that it shows the federal legislature can work in a bipartisan fashion, the Republican-controlled House passed the JOBS Act, which was supported by President Obama.
"It is a welcome sign that we can put our differences aside and work together to produce results to help boost the economy and get people back to work," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said, according to the AP.
-- First the Labor Department announced that while American workers were more productive at the end of last year, the gains in productivity slowed. The AP reports that could "signal that companies are ready to hire more workers."