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Small Businesses Begin to Hire, Slowly

Small businesses are adding workers, but at a slow pace.

ROSELAND, N.J. (TheStreet) -- Small and medium-sized business employment fared better than that of large companies last month, according to the National Employment Report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) .

But the numbers were still weak, in spite of the $17.6 billion jobs bill that President Obama signed in March, with the aim of

boosting new hires at small businesses


Employment for small businesses with fewer than 50 workers increased by 13,000 in the non-farm private sector, while employment for firms with 50 to 499 people rose by 39,000. Large businesses with 500 or more employees, on the other hand, added a mere 3,000 jobs.

The report takes into account an increase of 78,000 jobs in the service sector and a decrease of 23,000 in the good-producing industry. Small and medium-sized businesses each added 37,000 service jobs from April to May, while bigger companies tacked on 4,000. But small businesses lost 24,000 goods-producing jobs in the past month, while large companies lost 1,000 and medium-sized firms gained 2,000.

Those numbers are more disappointing than the federal government's jobs report today. The U.S. had an increase of 431,000 jobs last month. That's because the ADP survey includes only private-sector jobs, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics' report takes into account government workers. More than 400,000 temporary Census Bureau workers will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

-- Reported by Carmen Nobel in Boston.