The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies that employ 300 or fewer employees across the U.S., reported a month-over-month increase in hiring of 2.29 percent in August, following a decrease in hiring of 2.03 percent in July.
Fifty percent of companies in the SBEI did not make a change to their staff totals, while 30 percent of companies increased employee counts and 20 percent decreased headcounts. The August period has averaged a hiring decrease of 0.2 percent since the index's inception in 2009. Additionally, Agriculture, Educational Services, Retail Trade, Non-Profits and Manufacturing showed labor market growth during August. Financial Services showed a small decline. Regionally, all four areas of the country saw employment increases. The Central region posted the largest increase of 2.65 percent. The Southeast, Northeast and West regions posted increases of 2.14 percent, 1.84 percent, and 1.23 percent, respectively.
The August reading of the SBEI exceeded historical trends for this period. The weight of economic momentum seems to be driving growth in small business and that’s translating to hiring. The small business owner continues to be highly optimistic as the robust domestic economy continues despite trade issues and concerns around emerging markets. However, we learned through the great financial crisis that global issues can easily affect main street, so small business owners need to be cognizant of larger macro concerns as we move forward.