The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, increased by 1.66 percent during March, following an increase of .25 percent in February. The small business sector of the economy continues to attract headline coverage as our leadership as well as political and economic pundits stress that the small business owner is the driving force of the economy. The SBEI is focused on this portion of our economy and is a critical component to understanding economic trends in this small private sector.
Today’s announcement follows ADP’s March jobs survey, which illustrated that the private sector added 209,000 jobs last month. Currently, CBIZ Payroll Services manages payroll services for more than 3,000 businesses that employ fewer than 300 people. The sample reflects a broad array of industries and geographies corresponding to the markets across the United States where CBIZ provides services.
Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services, offered, “This is the highest month-over-month growth since June 2010, and represents a growing trend across the marketplace that employment is healing at all levels. In addition, the number of firms adding workers versus no change or reductions was solid as well, demonstrating a broader based increase. We now have a solid trend in employment going into the spring.”
Additional take-away points from the March data include:
- At-a-glance: Of the companies surveyed, the data shows that 28 percent reported an increase in employee headcount while 18 percent decreased staffing. 54 percent of the companies involved in the survey maintained their number of employees.
- Small business sector: Other reports of anecdotal nature are recording consistent information that shows small businesses are improving their employment numbers.
- What-to-watch: Sustained gains will be important for future growth, so look to April and May to continue the present trend within the SBEI. Consumer confidence, raising gas prices and this summer’s seasonal business activity will continue to play a direct role on the road to recovery.
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