Small Businesses Add 10,000 Jobs in November, Up for First Time in Four Months

by Tammy Lam on December 3, 2013
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For the first time in four months, the November Intuit Small Business Employment Index showed an increase in employment. The hiring rate was up for the first time in four years.

The October Intuit Small Business Revenue Index showed declines in all industries, except construction.

Here are some additional highlights from this month’s data:

November Employment Index

  • Small business employment increased 0.06 percent, which is the equivalent of 10,000 jobs
  • Average monthly compensation rose 0.4 percent, or $10, from October
  • Average monthly hours worked by hourly employees rose 0.6 percent, or approximately 36 minutes, from October

“We’ve recently seen small reversals in an already very slow recovery in small business employment,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “The total recovery in small business employment from the dip in March 2010 is just under 2 percent, or more than 0.5 percent per year. The pace over the last year has seen a slightly slower increase, just 0.4 percent. After May 2013, the recovery has simply stalled.

“Despite these discouraging statistics, all of Intuit’s other small business health measures are hopeful. Hours worked and monthly compensation are both unambiguously up and, most exciting of all, this month’s hiring rate is the highest we have seen since January 2009. The hiring rate reflects openings that businesses fill to replace employees who leave for better or different jobs. This means people are confident enough to leave jobs – an encouraging sign for the economy.”

Hours worked and average compensation for hourly employees increased in November. Both figures are seasonally adjusted, which means that the growth is solid, and not a temporary boost due to small businesses gearing up for the holidays, according to Woodward.

This latest employment index is based on anonymized data from approximately 206,000 small businesses, a subset of Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll users. It covers the period from Oct. 24 through Nov. 23.

October Revenue Index

  • On a per-business basis, small business revenues saw an overall decline of 0.4 percent in October
  • Of the industries tracked by the revenue index, the construction sector was the only one to see an increase
  • The professional services industry and the real estate sector showed the largest declines, at 0.7 percent each

“In terms of year-over-year changes in revenue across all industries, revenues are up 2.5 percent,” said Woodward. “The construction industry plunged in 2006, but is now seeing the most growth, up 7 percent from August 2012 to August 2013.”

This latest revenue index is based on anonymized data from approximately 150,000 small businesses, a subset of QuickBooks Online users, covering the period from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31.

For more small business employment and revenue data, visit index.intuit.com.

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