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Small Business Employment Increases, But Revenue Falls For Tenth Consecutive Month

U.S. small business employment increased 0.11 percent in January, while overall revenue dropped 0.4 percent in December, according to the monthly Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes. Construction was the only sector to see an increase in revenue.

The January employment increase represents 20,000 new jobs added and an annualized growth rate of 1.3 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average monthly compensation fell by 0.2 percent in January, or $6, compared to the increase of $13 seen in December. Average monthly hours worked decreased by 0.9 percent, or almost one hour, compared to the increase of five minutes seen last month. The index is based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll, covering the period from Dec. 24 through Jan. 23.

“The rate of small business employment continues its slow climb after a slight dip from April through September 2012,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “However, the number of small business jobs now stands at a little over 19.9 million – still below the peak in April 2012, and well below its pre-recession level of 21.2 million jobs in March 2007. Given the continuing high levels of unemployment, we can expect little to no impact on small business wages and employment levels from the return of the employee payroll tax to its previous level of 6.2 percent. Instead, we will be much more likely to see a decline in the consumption spending of employees, who will be taking home less money.”

Decrease in Hours Worked, Compensation

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 105.1 hours in January, down slightly from the revised figure of 106.1 hours in December, making for a 24.3-hour workweek.

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