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CBIZ Small Business Employment Index Returns To Positive Territory In August

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for hiring trends for more than 3,500 companies with 300 or fewer employees, increased by 1.23 percent during August, following a decrease of .57 percent in July.

In comparison, yesterday’s ADP’s August survey illustrated that the private sector added 176,000 jobs during the month while economists expected 180,000. This total is down from July’s revised tally of 198,000 jobs created after 200,000 jobs were initially estimated.

“The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index returns to positive territory in this month’s report, indicating that small businesses are hiring as needed and mild growth is still appearing in inconsistent quantities,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services. “We continue to watch the growth for a more consistent month-to-month number, but inconsistent growth has been the staple for the past four years of almost every macroeconomic metric available, including the SBEI.”

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 August data set include:

  • At-a-glance: Of the companies surveyed, 28 percent increased staffing while 21 percent decreased staffing and 51 percent maintained their number of employees.
  • Small business sector: Coupling this information with the data collected from the BLS report in August, CBIZ Payroll notes that we are seeing that most of the positions created are part-time. This produces a scenario where we can show some job growth, but it doesn’t impact overall economic growth dramatically since consumerism continues to be muted from individuals in part-time positions who typically create less income and are viewed as tenuous in their longevity.
  • What to watch: CBIZ Payroll emphasizes the need to watch how the Syrian situation and the budget battle in Washington affect economic growth, and therefore hiring, as the country moves into the fourth quarter.

“Until we can return to more stable full-time job growth, we will continue to struggle with increasing consumer spending, which represents 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Solid macroeconomic numbers may lead to a bright start to 2014—as has been the trend the past few years. The ability to sustain the advance beyond the second quarter of next year needs to be watched, though,” says Noftsinger.

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