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August 3, 2017

Small business hiring plummets in July following record-breaking increase

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for small business hiring trends that surveys approximately 4,000 companies employing 300 or fewer people, reported a 2.26 percent decline in July. This comes on the heels of a record-breaking increase in hiring in June. 

While 49 percent of companies did not make hiring changes, 31 percent of those in the index decreased their staff and 19 percent increased headcounts. The only industries which posted a positive growth this month include Agriculture and Financial Services; meanwhile, Non-Profits, Accommodations, Food Services, Technology, Life Sciences, Retail, Healthcare and Construction - an important industry for employment growth - posted declines. Additionally, all geographic regions realized declines, with the West taking the largest hit of 4.36 percent.

Small business owners are uncertain about the future, as evidenced by lack of sustained economic growth and Capitol Hill's inaction, and are hesitant to make hiring decisions at this point. Rather than demonstrate consistent hiring efforts, small businesses are hiring in pulses. In order for owners to change course, however, fiscal policy clarity and economic growth must first occur. 

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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