Small Business Employment Drops for Fourth Consecutive Month

Both small business employment and per-business revenue dropped in the last month, according to the Intuit Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes, which were released today. October employment saw a slight decline of 0.06 percent, while September small business revenues were down across all industries tracked by the revenue index.

Here are some additional highlights from this month’s data:

October Employment Index

  • U.S. small business employment lost approximately 10,000 jobs in October
  • Average monthly compensation decreased by 0.4 percent, or $11; average monthly pay for hourly small business employees was $2,657
  • Average monthly hours worked in October were 106.3 hours, down 0.4 percent, or the equivalent of 24 minutes; the average work week was about 24.5 hours

“Since the recovery began in March 2010, small business employment has grown slowly and fitfully, by only 1.9 percent, compared to the 5.5 percent growth in total payroll employment,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “ However, this month’s decline amounts to the loss of about 10,000 jobs, which is far from the worst that we’ve seen — but it is the worst since the recovery began. This is the fourth month in a row that small business employment has declined, and we are now looking at a total loss of 17,000 jobs since June 2013.”

The employment index is based on data from the 206,000 small business customers of Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

September Revenue Index

  • Small business revenue saw an overall decline of 0.3 percent in September
  • The professional services industry sector showed the largest decline of 0.8 percent, followed by the construction sector and the health care services industry, each declining by 0.6 percent
  • Real estate services showed the smallest decline, at 0.02 percent

“Real estate services revenues have been consistently recovering since March 2009, so this month’s decline is a minor hiccup in the industry’s overall recovery,” said Woodward.

The revenue index is based on data from approximately 150,000 small businesses using QuickBooks Online.

Want more information? Curious to see how the data compares to six months, or even three years ago? Check out index.intuit.com to see detailed breakdowns of growth and to download the full report.

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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