The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies across the U.S. with 300 or fewer employees, saw a hiring downturn in the January reading, with a seasonally adjusted decrease of 1.97%. This month’s data is inline with the historical average as activities surrounding the holiday season subside.
In January, 16% of companies increased their employee count, 54% did not make a change to their staff and 30% decreased employee totals. Twenty-three of the twenty-five industries represented in the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index saw a decrease in hiring. Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, and Retail experienced the largest reductions.
From a regional perspective, the Central (-1.83%), Southeast (-1.83%), and West (1.70%) regions saw hiring declines with the Northeast (-2.60%) standing out with the greatest loss. While employment numbers fell for January, this is a seasonal effect and there is nothing extraordinary about the month that would signal something fundamental has shifted in the labor situation for small businesses.
Anna Rathbun is Chief Investment Officer, CBIZ Inc.
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