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April Reading of the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) Shows Its Greatest Hiring Decline to Date

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies with 300 or fewer employees across the U.S., posted a seasonally adjusted reading of -9.43% in April 2020, reaffirming the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on small businesses nationwide. This marks the greatest decline in the index’s history, which was born out of the economic upheaval of the Great Financial Crisis.

In the CBIZ SBEI, 42% of companies noted a staffing decrease, 45% noted no change and only 13% noted an increase. Hiring declined in all of the industries surveyed to different degrees, declining the most in Professional Services, Non-Profits, Healthcare, Retail and Manufacturing but less than 4% in Financial Services, Wholesale Distribution, Construction and Insurance. 

The severity of the pandemic’s impact on small business employment extended throughout the United States. While the Central and Southeast regions reported declines, they were not as steep as the declines in the Northeast and West.


Phil Noftsinger is Executive Vice President, CBIZ Inc.


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