Small Business Employment Remained (Almost) Flat in August

by Tammy Lam on September 4, 2013
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U.S. small business employment saw a slight decline of 0.01 percent in August, while revenues continued to drop. The employment decline equates to approximately 1,300 jobs lost for businesses that employ less than 20 workers. The relatively marginal decrease means the employment rate was almost flat.

“This is the second month in a row that small business employment has failed to rise. In general, small business employment recovery continues to lag behind overall private-sector employment,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “Total private employment has risen seven percent since the dip in March 2010, while small business employment has risen only two percent.”

However, there is a silver lining in the small business labor market in the form of compensation and hours worked, said Woodward.

Increased Hours Worked, Rising Compensation

Average monthly pay for small business employees increased by $10 in August, up from $2,741 in July. Hourly employees worked an average of 111.2 hours in August, which is a 42-minute increase from July. This employment index is based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Small Business Employment Changes Not Uniform Geographically

Of the 37 states tracked by the Intuit Small Business Employment Index, 29 showed employment gains, while six saw declines and two remained flat. Minnesota and Wisconsin both saw the greatest employment gains, at 0.3 percent; conversely Nevada saw the greatest decline at 0.15 percent.

August State Employment

Small Business Revenue Decline, Trend Continues

The Small Business Revenue Index showed a 0.18 percent drop in overall small business revenue on a per-business basis in July. Small business revenues have continued to decline for all industry sectors except construction, which remains a bright spot with a 21 percent increase from the dip in mid-2010.

Real estate services saw the greatest decline on a per-business level in July, as many Realtors who were inactive are now re-entering the market, competing for existing business. The healthcare industry has experienced the second largest – and the longest – overall small business revenue decline, at 3.2 percent since mid-2012.

July Small Business Revenue

This index is based on data from QuickBooks Online, covering the period from July 1-31.

For more information on small business employment, including wages, hours worked and trends over time, visit  index.intuit.com or follow us for monthly updates: @Intuit and  facebook.com/intuit.

Tammy Lam is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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