The small business employment landscape showed promising signs of growth in October. We just released the October report from the Intuit Small Business Employment Index, and I’m excited to say that both small business employment and compensation grew, with compensation showing strong growth. The Index, which is based on data from the nation’s smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll, revealed that small business employment grew by 0.2 percent, equating to 44,000 new jobs and an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent.
“October’s employment numbers look better than they did last month – employment and compensation show a healthy rise, and hours worked are up sharply,” says Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “The annual growth rate for employment will not drive us back to full employment soon, but it is very encouraging. A double-dip recession is looking less and less likely.”
Average monthly pay for all small business employees increased 0.3 percent in October to $2,617 per month. Time worked by hourly-paid small business employees in October increased by a substantial 0.7 percent from September to an average of 107.1 hours.
“The increases in compensation and hours worked for October are impressive,” Woodward says. “Compensation showed a solid year-over-year increase of about 3.7 percent per year. The extraordinary increase in hours worked may foretell an even stronger rise in employment next month. If small businesses are asking this much more of their people, they probably need more people.”
Looking at small business employment by geography, the Index showed positive job growth across the country with the exception of the West North Central census division. Among the states where we have more than 1,000 firms represented, the only individual state to see small business job losses in October was Illinois.