OSB regularly monitors dozens of small business economic indicators from various research groups, measuring everything from hiring trends to borrowing patterns to optimism levels. Here, in the Pulse, we provide quick snapshots of the latest research from and about Main Street.

College graduates may need to look beyond small firms for a job this year. (Butch Dill/AP)

New college graduates searching for employment might as well skip right over Main Street, according to a new report.

Only one in five small business owners plan to hire recent college graduates in the coming months, according to a new survey released by Capital One. Women-owned businesses showed a slightly higher propensity to hire new grads than those owned by men (73 percent and 81 percent, respectively).

College graduates are not alone. More broadly, the data showed that two-thirds of small firms do not plan to hire at all in the next six months.

“While optimism and confidence are on the rise and more small businesses are on sound financial footing, concerns and uncertainty continue to hold back plans for staffing increases and growth,” Jon Witter, president of direct, consumer and small business banking at Capital One, said in a statement.

Other findings in the report:

• 45 percent of small business owners said that they believe their financial position will be better in six months.

• 64 percent of business owners are optimistic about the direction of their respective sectors, but only 48 percent are optimistic about the direction of the national economy.

• 35 percent of firms reported sales increases in the last six months.

• 28 percent of firms plan to hire a veteran in the next six months.

Do these trends reflect or conflict with what you are seeing on Main Street? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Follow On Small Business and J.D. Harrison .