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 0.48 percent in November, following a decrease in hiring of 0.52 percent in October.
Fifty-one percent of companies in the SBEI did not make a change to their staff totals, while 26 percent of companies increased employee counts and 23 percent decreased headcounts. The November period has averaged a hiring decrease of 0.12 percent since the index's inception in 2009. Additionally, Agriculture, Professional Services and Financial Services posted decreases in hiring during November. Meanwhile, Administrative and Support Services, Non-Profits, Educational and Healthcare posted increases. Regionally, the Northeast and Central regions saw employment decreases of 0.41 and 0.12 percent, respectively. The West and Southeast regions demonstrated hiring increases of 4.16 and 0.66 percent, respectively.
The November reading of the SBEI showed a flat reading which followed historical trends for this period. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to resist hiring seasonal employees too early, in order to gauge consumer sentiment and demand during this high season. With the November report falling right in line with seasonal trends, the December report will reveal any noticeable reaction in hiring trends as small business owners adjust to consumer sentiment during the holiday season.