The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for small business hiring trends that surveys labor data from over 4,000 companies employing 300 or fewer people, showed the second consecutive monthly decrease in August, registering a 0.82 percent month-over-month decline.
This month, 23.8 percent of companies increased staff, 49.7 percent made no change and 26.5 percent decreased employee totals. The SBEI data revealed that the agriculture, finance and insurance, and education industries saw headcount increases while professional services – typically a sector of consistent small business hiring – and construction remained flat. Technology, life sciences, non-profits and transportation saw the largest industry declines. Additionally, the entire country realized declines in hiring.
A major theme going forward will be whether or not the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates this year. The market has remained relatively calm recently, though the employment situation will remain a major factor in the Fed’s decision. Small businesses will have to brace for change for the economy to strengthen further.
The graphic below highlights trends and results from the SBEI.
The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.