By The Associated Press
SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT: A survey by the lobbying group National Federation of Independent Business shows that employment ticked higher in January, the second straight monthly increase.
STILL CAUTIOUS: The NFIB's chief economist, William Dunkelberg, says hiring levels are back where they were in April 2012, but owners are still holding off on big moves. And he expects the government's report that the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in 2012's fourth quarter to keep owners cautious.
FRIDAY'S BIG REPORT: The Labor Department's report on January employment will give further clues about the state of hiring at small businesses.