Looking for jobs? Don't discount small businesses

When applying for finance jobs and other positions in the industry, many applicants focus exclusively on big businesses—corporations, brand names, the companies that are easy to recognize. Yet a number of recent statistics and news reports reveal a major flaw in this strategy: job availability is growing at small businesses, and at a rapid rate. For individuals applying for jobs in any industry, the salvation may come by way of smaller, local companies.

According to a recent Reuters report, small business confidence in May was tracked at its highest level in more than 6 years. Additionally, during the previous month, job availability at small businesses was shown to have reached pre-recession levels. The most recent statistic reported by the news outlet showed a "bigger than expected increase in wholesale inventories," which added to "employment, auto sales, manufacturing and services sector data," all of which suggested that the economy was now in a "full-fledged expansion." In short, all indexes being tracked by the news outlet suggest that hiring at small businesses is going up, up, up.

"The list of indicators showing the economy is back continues to get longer every day," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at the Bank of Tokyo, explained to Reuters. "It's getting harder and harder to point to slack in economic conditions."

Reuters then reported that the Small Business Optimism index—tracked on behalf of the news outlet by the National Federation of Independent Businesses—increased by 1.4 points last month, to reach its highest level since September 2007. This also suggests that hiring at these companies is on the upswing, and will only continue to increase in prevalence during the year to come. That index has increased for three straight months now, and is considered "one of the leading indicators of economic growth."

"Jobs are available," Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities, told the news outlet. "The economy is creating jobs at a fairly robust pace and there is every indication that will be sustained."

Across the countryat businesses of all sizesjobs are opening up

It's not just small businesses where hiring is on the rise. According to a recent Bloomberg report, citing data from the Labor Department, job openings in the U.S. reached a seven year high in April 2014, increasing by 289,000. That means there's now a total of 4.46 million job positions to be filled into the U.S. 

"Job openings are a measure of the demand for labor, so in general, you like to see a rising trend," Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities, explained to Bloomberg. "There's been improvement in the labor turnover figures and business surveys also suggest that conditions are gradually improving."

The Bloomberg report went on to note that online job listings have become an indispensable part of the job hunt for all Americans—suggesting that many of those aforementioned open positions will be filled by hiring managers from applications submitted online. This is certainly true for accounting jobs and other positions in the finance industry: Daniel Culbertson, who was looking for jobs in the economics field, told the news outlet that finding a job is easier now than it has been in previous years, in part thanks to the internet. He found his latest job via a website that listed open positions. 

"I had a pretty good temperature of how the labor market was," Culbertson told Bloomberg. "I wouldn't have been surprised if it took a little longer given the current economic climate. It was certainly easier than when I graduated from undergrad in 2008, when the economy really took a downturn."