Intuit: Small Biz Hiring Slows in January, Wages Flat

Small businesses added 50,000 jobs in January and wages were flat or dipped slightly, according to a survey by the payroll processor Intuit.
That’s a drop from the 60,000 jobs created in December, but the overall labor market among small businesses with fewer than 20 employees surveyed is slowly improving, Intuit reports.
The average monthly salary for small business employees fell slightly by 0.1 percent, or $3, to $2,632 in January. The average workweek eased 0.1 percent to 24.8 hours.
“Overall the small business labor market is not weak, but not strong either,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create its employment index. “Small business employment continues to rise but at a rate that will not get us back to full employment very quickly.”
Overall, non-salaried employees saw their hours and compensation decrease slightly, she said. Compensation is about flat, if adjusted for inflation.
The percentage of non-salaried people working full time is also down slightly, a trend that began in March 2011.
The Intuit Index shows employment growth in all census divisions, except for New England, and in many states for which the Index tracks, except for New York and Maryland.
“The geographical pattern of labor market indicators shows more weakness in employment on the East Coast, especially the New York region where there are more financial service businesses,” said Woodward. “This suggests that the continuing uncertainty regarding the Euro and the debts of the European sovereign nations are a force in economic activity here. We hear this on the news, and we can see it in the small business figures.”
The Intuit Small Business Employment Index is based on aggregate and anonymous online employment data from about 70,000 small business employers, a subset of businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll, each with fewer than 20 employees.
These businesses comprise 87 percent of the total U.S. private employer base and employ nearly 20 million people, Intuit said.

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