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April 2, 2020

CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) Reports Downward Trend and Early Signs of COVID Impact

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies with 300 or fewer employees across the U.S., showed a seasonally adjusted decrease of -0.89% for March 2020. March has typically been a positive month for hiring, with a historical gain of over 1% in employment. The March 2020 decrease can be attributed in part to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Twenty four percent of companies in the CBIZ SBEI reported an increase in employment, while 54% saw no change and 22% saw a decrease. Industries in the index that reported hiring growth include Arts and Entertainment, Technology and Life Sciences, Construction, and Professional Services. Hiring declined in Administrative and Support Services, Healthcare and Wholesale Distribution.

Signs of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic were apparent in all regions of the U.S., as the Central region, the Southeast, the Northeast and the West decreased hiring for the month.


Phil Noftsinger is Executive Vice President, CBIZ Inc.

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