Intuit Special: 2012 Small Business Employment and Revenue Report

A complement to the monthly Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes, Intuit’s inaugural Small Business Employment and Revenue Report draws from government reports and anonymized data from the company’s suite of small business payroll and financial management products to provide an overview of the state of American small businesses during the past year. The report summarizes the small business hiring, revenue, hours worked, and compensation highlights of 2012, while also recapping employment at the national and state level. 

Employment Recap

National small business employment came full circle in 2012, according to government, Intuit Online Payroll, and QuickBooks Online Payroll data through Dec. 23. The employment rate began a monthly decline in April before bottoming out in September and reversing course through the end of the year. December small business employment exceeded its January level by 0.12 percent, a rise of 24,000 jobs over the year.

The hiring rate that fell steadily through the recession bottomed out in 2009, and has continued to hover at a monthly rate of approximately 5.5 percent. The change in hiring over 2012 was minimal, decreasing by 2 percent from January to December.

Highlights:

  • Small business employment peaked in April, and was at its lowest in September.
  • Compensation increased 2.74 percent from January to December, while average monthly hours worked decreased 2.57 percent.
  • Total small business jobs in December 2012 were approximately 19.9 million.
  • The pre-recession (March 2007) small business job count was 21.2 million.

State-by-state View

The Intuit Small Business Employment Index tracks employment for states in which Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business users. Out of 33 states, 27 saw increases in employment from January to December, while two remained flat and four saw decreases.

Highlights:

  • Texas, Utah, and Indiana were the top states for employment growth.
  • Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Kansas showed the biggest employment declines.
  • 70 percent of the 33 states saw their lowest employment levels in the first two months of 2012.
  • 44 percent of the 33 states saw their highest employment levels in the last two months of 2012.

2012 Employment Change by State:

State% Change Jan-Dec 2012Lowest Employment Level Highest Employment Level 
USA0.12SeptemberApril
Alabama-0.02AugustApril
Arizona0.91FebruaryDecember
California0.77JanuaryDecember
Colorado0.77JanuaryDecember
Connecticut-0.40DecemberMay
Florida0.17JuneDecember
Georgia0.46JanuaryDecember
Illinois0.02FebruaryMay
Indiana0.94JanuaryNovember
Iowa0.07FebruaryJune
Kansas-0.04DecemberOctober
Kentucky0.70JanuaryMay
Louisiana0.29JanuaryMay
Maryland0.05SeptemberApril
Massachusetts0.52FebruarySeptember
Michigan0.05JanuarySeptember
Minnesota0.70JanuaryDecember
Missouri0.06SeptemberApril
Nevada0.00OctoberJanuary
New Jersey0.00JanuarySeptember
New York0.37FebruaryNovember
North Carolina0.16JanuaryMay
Ohio0.69JanuarySeptember
Oklahoma0.90JanuaryDecember
Oregon0.29FebruaryNovember
Pennsylvania0.03SeptemberApril
South Carolina0.36SeptemberDecember
Tennessee0.11JanuaryMay
Texas1.04JanuaryDecember
Utah0.99JanuaryDecember
Virginia0.21FebruaryMay
Washington0.66JanuaryNovember
Wisconsin-0.21DecemberMay

Revenue Recap

Small business revenues overall declined 1.2 percent from January to November, though the rate of decline began slowing toward the end of the year. This is based on anonymized data from 100,000 QuickBooks Online customers from Jan. 1 through Nov. 30.

Highlights:

  • Real estate was the only industry that saw a boost from January to November, at an increase of 1.9 percent.
  • The retail and health care industries saw the largest proportional revenue decline, at 3.2 and 3 percent respectively.
  • The professional services and construction sectors saw the smallest revenue decline, at 1.4 and 0.8 percent respectively.

2012 Revenue Change by Industry

Sector% Change Jan-Nov 2012
All

-1.2

Real estate and rental and leasing

1.9

Retail trade

-3.2

Health care and social assistance

-3.0

Other services

-2.8

Accommodation, food services, and drinking places

-1.9

Professional, scientific, and technical services

-1.4

Construction

-0.8

Behind the Numbers

The Intuit Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes provide unique, near real-time information each month on the activity of the smallest businesses in the U.S. in terms of revenue, hiring, and compensation trends. The Employment Index is based on anonymized, aggregated data from 170,000 small business employers, a subset of users that use Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll. The Revenue Index is based on anonymized, aggregated data from approximately 100,000 small businesses, a subset of users that use Intuit’s QuickBooks Online financial management offering and are matched in Dun & Bradstreet’s small business industry classifications. Together, the indexes provide a more complete picture of the economic health of the nation’s small businesses. More information on the Intuit Small Business Indexes is available at index.intuit.com.

About Tammy Lam

Tammy Lam is on Intuit's small business communications team. She lives in San Francisco and loves using mobile apps to explore the city's endless array of local restaurants and nightlife. Follow her on Twitter at @Tam_Lam and share your favorite spots!
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