November 3, 2016

Small business hiring retreats for four straight months

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, reported its fourth consecutive decrease in hiring, registering a 1.61 percent month-over-month decline.

In October, 20 percent of companies in the Index increased hiring, 50 percent made no change and 30 percent decreased staff totals. The only industries that realized growth in October included Educational Services and Insurance. Meanwhile, Agriculture, Arts & Entertainment, Real Estate, Retail, Accommodation, Food Services and Professional Services saw large declines. Further, the West region saw employment gains while the rest of the country saw strong decreases in staff totals.

Though October normally experiences negative hiring, this decline is significantly above the average for the past five years. Heading toward a potential Fed rate hike in December, other macroeconomic metrics will likely play a major role if jobs growth doesn’t remain sustainable. Additionally, following a strong third-quarter GDP report last week, the election next week and the holiday shopping season ahead, job growth will remain a major focus for the economy in 2016.

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.

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