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 decrease in hiring of 0.52 percent in October, following a decrease in hiring of 2.45 percent in September.
Forty-nine percent of companies in the SBEI did not make a change to their staff totals, while 25 percent of companies increased employee counts and 26 percent decreased headcounts. The October period has averaged a hiring decrease of 0.54 percent since the index's inception in 2009. Additionally, Construction, Non-Profits, and Accommodation and Foodservices posted decreases in hiring during October. Meanwhile Finance and Insurance, Utilities, and Technology and Life Sciences posted increases. Regionally, the West, Northeast and Central regions saw employment decreases of 1.75 percent, 0.86 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. The Southeast demonstrated a hiring increase of 0.63 percent.
The October reading of the SBEI showed a flat reading which followed historical trends for this period. Employment growth in October tends to level off after the loss of part-time workers from the summer months, and before the influx of seasonal workers around the holiday shopping season. With the October report falling right in line with seasonal trends and the election just a week away, the November report will better determine any discernible reaction in hiring trends by small business owners as the economy continues to demonstrate strong growth.