U.S. jobless claims have fallen to a five year low, according to the U.S. Labor Department. But despite the improving employment climate, American small businesses, particularly very small companies that operate exclusively online, are not expecting to hire anytime soon.

A recent survey of 600 small businesses revealed that 87 percent did not plan to take on additional employees this year, preferring instead to cut costs and streamline operations. The results echoed their generally pessimistic outlook for the U.S. economy; 63 percent of respondents expected the economy to stay the same or worsen in the coming year, although they were generally optimistic about their own growth propects.

Conducted in December by e-commerce companies Alibaba.com, Vendio and Auctiva, the survey asked companies a range of questions concerning their outlook and business plans for 2013. Companies that participated were quite small: more than 90 percent had five or fewer employees and 82 percent had 2012 revenues of $50,000 or less. More than three out of four were online-only businesses.

For more survey results, check out the infographic below. Click here to view full size.