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CBIZ Small Business Employment Index Suffers Slight June Swoon

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for hiring trends for more than 3,500 companies with 300 or fewer employees, declined by .21 percent during June, following a 1.91 increase in May.

In comparison, ADP’s June jobs survey illustrated that the private sector added more workers than expected with a tally of 188,000 jobs, above analysts’ estimates of 160,000 jobs. Job gains for the month of May were revised downward to 134,000 from 135,000.

“The June SBEI report shows a very mild decline in the small business employment sector. This tells us that some small business owners are still tepid about their growth prospects and have slowed the pace of adding human capital to their enterprises. Still, it might not be a total reverse from what we’ve seen over the past few months,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services. “The number of companies reporting a positive change exceeded those reporting a negative change.”

To view and/or use a graphic illustration that tracks and illustrates the employment index, visit our blog here.¹

Additional take-away points from the June data set include:
  • At-a-glance: Of the companies surveyed, 26 percent increased staffing while 24 percent decreased staffing and 50 percent maintained their number of employees.
  • Small business sector: The number of companies reporting a positive change (800 small businesses) exceeded those reporting a negative change with employees (748 small businesses), further demonstrating that this month’s index doesn’t necessarily signify a directional change in small business hiring.
  • What to watch: With the summer vacation season heating up, seasonal hiring could continue to play a role in the SBEI over the next two months. Additionally, many business owners might remain cautiously optimistic as the economy seems to be gradually improving.

“The summer months will confirm whether or not 2013 will follow the path of the prior few years with a second half cooling related to hiring and the economy overall,” says Noftsinger.

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