The January CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, decreased by 2.75 percent during the past month, following an increase of 1.75 percent in December.
Today’s announcement follows ADP’s January jobs survey, which illustrated that the private sector added 170,000 jobs in January.
Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services, explained, “January’s numbers express a decline in overall employment from December levels. Our SBEI is not seasonally adjusted; therefore our numbers for January are consistent with January 2011, which showed a decline of 2.62 percent versus 2.75 percent for January 2012.”
Additional take-away points from the January data include:
- At-a-glance: Of the companies surveyed, the data shows that 34 percent reported a decrease in employee headcount while 18 percent increased staffing. 48 percent of the companies involved in the survey maintained their number of employees.
- Small business sector: A decline in hiring after the holiday season is to be expected as normal seasonal activity. Many business owners are still reluctant to bring on new employees due to continued uncertainty surrounding the economy.
- What-to-watch: We need to continue to see positive macro data to support the ongoing trend of mild job growth that we experienced in the fourth quarter of 2011. Prolonged job creation will ultimately depend on employer confidence and consumer spending.