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 increase in the December reading, with a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.84%. The downward trend has reversed in the last two months, signaling a positive sign for small business owners.
In December, 24% of companies increased their employee count, 57% did not make a change to their staff, and 19% decreased employee totals. Healthcare, Non-profit organizations, and Wholesale distributions had gains in employment. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Technology & Life Sciences, and Utilities experienced hiring declines.
From a regional perspective, the West (1.25%) saw a significant increase in hiring compared to the rest of the country. The Central (1.18%), Southeast (0.35%), and Northeast (0.18%) regions also had hiring increases. Moving forward, small business owners may have an easier time staffing in the coming months. Recessionary fears and the state of the economy might give employers a better opportunity to properly staff their business because workers are less likely to leave.
Anna Rathbun is Chief Investment Officer, CBIZ Inc.
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