January Small Business Employment Index Shows Continued, Slow National Growth

Small businesses created 50,000 new jobs in January but paid employees less and gave them fewer hours. These are some of the results of the latest Intuit Small Business Employment Index, covering the period between Dec. 24, 2011 and Jan. 23, 2012. The Index is based on figures from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit Online Payroll.

The monthly report found that small business employment grew by 0.2 percent in January, equating to an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent. Hours worked decreased slightly by 0.05 percent, or six minutes, while monthly compensation also decreased slightly, by 0.1 percent, or $3.

According to Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index, “Intuit’s figures show that small business employment has continued to grow since October 2009, but not at a rate that will get the economy back to full employment very quickly.”

Woodward adds, “Overall, non-salaried employees saw their hours and compensation decrease slightly, but so did the price level. When adjusted for inflation, compensation is about flat. The percentage of non-salaried people working full time is also down slightly, a trend that began in March 2011.”

The Index also shows employment growth in all census divisions, except for New England, and in many individual states 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,” says 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.”

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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