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CBIZ Small Business Employment Index Shows Healthy Gain For May

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, increased by 1.34 percent during May, following an increase of .05 percent in April. The SBEI’s gain reflects a bounce in growth in employment and contrasts a weak report on private sector job growth from ADP.

ADP’s May jobs survey illustrated that the private sector added 133,000 jobs last month, which was below analysts’ estimates.

CBIZ Payroll Services manages payroll services for more than 3,000 businesses that employ fewer than 300 people. The survey reflects a broad array of industries and geographies corresponding to the markets across the United States where CBIZ provides services. The data represented by the SBEI is derived from a segment of employers not completely accounted for by the ADP and Federal BLS employment reports.

Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services, offered, “Our report for May shows a healthy gain in employment for small businesses. This is a welcomed, strong reading and indicates that the domestic economic growth we have seen continues to support the small business owner and his or her hiring.”

Additional take-away points from the May data include:

  • At-a-glance: Of the companies surveyed, the data shows that 26 percent reported an increase in employee headcount while 20 percent decreased staffing. 54 percent of the companies involved in the survey maintained their number of employees.
  • Small business sector: Today’s small business owner is still cautious, but surprisingly, has shown budding confidence in regards to sales, per other indicators. Should a sales improvement trend continue, then we could see traction and positive signs during the seasonal hiring that takes place during summer.
  • What-to-watch: Continued deterioration in economic conditions abroad can still closely impact domestic economic prospects and its affect on small business hiring.

“What’s more, with declining oil prices, employers will recognize some lower costs that will translate to more investable capital. That said, fuel prices are quite unstable, so unless the decline is sustainable, it's likely to lead to greater net incomes rather than longer term investments in labor,” said Noftsinger.

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