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 2.27 percent decrease in hiring in August. This follows a similar reading in July, which reported a 2.26 percent decline in hiring.
49.3 percent of companies in the SBEI made no change to employee totals, 19.4 percent of companies increased headcounts and 31.3 percent decreased their staff. Industries which posted notable declines in August were those which depend on the consumer, including Retail, Non-Profits, Healthcare and Accommodations and Food Services. Agriculture was the only industry which realized an increase in hiring. Additionally, all regions across the U.S. reported declines, lead by the West region which registered a substantial 4.36 percent decrease. The Central, Southeast and Northeast followed suit, reporting declines of 2.38 percent, 1.71 percent and 0.54 percent, respectively.
Uncertainty continues as long-awaited fiscal policy changes stall. Additionally, if small business hiring continues to log disappointing results, small business owners may begin to watch for signals to the beginning of a recession.
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.