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 month-over-month decrease in hiring of 0.20 percent in February. This follows a decrease in hiring of 3.14 percent in January and follows the usual flat February hiring trend.
Fifty-one percent of companies represented in the SBEI did not change employee totals, while 24 percent increased their headcounts and 25 percent decreased staff. Typically, the February reading in the SBEI comes in flat, and this month’s reading is in line with expectations. Industries which grew their employee totals include Transportation, Finance and Insurance, Manufacturing, Technology and Life Sciences, and Non-Profits. Meanwhile, Accommodation and Foodservices, Construction, Real Estate, Arts and Entertainment, and Financial Services saw headcounts decline. The Central region was the only area of the country which experienced a hiring decline, while the rest of the country experienced minor hiring increases.
Hiring among small businesses tends to pick up as the weather gets warmer. However, as potential tariffs and uncertainty surrounding future Federal Reserve actions remain in the news, small business owners may wait for clarity around policy decisions that could impact their revenues.
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