NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Small businesses are still hurting on the jobs and revenue fronts. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees created 30,000 jobs in August, according to Intuit (INTU) Payroll's August Small Business Index, with the initial, unadjusted August read lower than the small business job creation level in July. The data is based on approximately 83,500 small business customers of Intuit Online Payroll.
Intuit's Small Business Revenue Index also shows revenues at the nation's smallest businesses continuing to reflect soft economic conditions. Overall, small businesses saw revenue decline in July, the fifth consecutive month of revenue decline, with the biggest decreases in the accommodation/food services and retail industries at -1.1% and -0.7%, respectively.
For the second month in a row, the construction industry saw a decline in revenue. Since the construction industry accounts for about 8% of employment among all companies and roughly 20% of employment for small companies, any change in this sector is important, Intuit says.Health care and social assistance had the smallest revenue decline at -0.4%, however, the rate of decline was "10 times more than the 0.04 percent decline seen in the previous month," Intuit notes. "This month's indexes indicate that small businesses are hurting," according to Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. "The employment rate has been slowing since April, and revenues have been falling since March, declining 2.7% from its most recent peak. At an annual rate, this is a decline of just over 6%, which is substantial." Among the industry sectors tracked by Intuit, the hardest hit recently has been small business retail, whose revenue has declined 6.1% from January to July. The sector with the smallest decline is health care, which fell 1.3% from December 2011. Based on August's numbers and revised national employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Intuit revised upward previously reported jobs created in July to 45,000 from 35,000 jobs.
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