The hiring freeze at small businesses looks like it's finally thawing. The pickup in hiring was clear in the report last week from payroll provider ADP, which said its small business customers added 104,000 jobs in February, following a January gain of 62,000.
That compared to an average monthly increase of 33,000 from September through December. Hiring gains for this group for all of 2016 averaged 60,000.
That's not the only good news. A recent survey by the advocacy group the National Small Business Association done showed 43 percent of owners expected to hire in the next 12 months. That's up from 33 percent last summer.