Small Business Employment Almost Flat in September

by Tammy Lam

1 min read

U.S. small business employment saw a slight increase of 0.01 percent in September – growth so small that it is almost flat. Hours worked, compensation, and overall small business revenues dropped.

“Small businesses employ about 20 million people. In this context, the slight increase of 0.01 percent, or approximately 1,000 jobs, is almost no change at all,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “The silver lining is that the small business hiring rate is up for the 11th month in a row. This increase is an encouraging sign of strength in a small business labor market that is otherwise in the doldrums.”

Decreased Hours Worked, Compensation

Small business hourly employees earned an average monthly wage of $2,657 in September, down seven dollars from August. Average hours worked in September were 106.0 hours, down 12 minutes from August. This employment index is based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll from August 24 to September 23.

Small Business Employment by Geography

Of the 37 states tracked by the Intuit Small Business Employment Index, 31 saw employment gains, five saw declines and one remained flat.  Three of the four largest states – Texas, New York and Florida – all had growth rates that equated to approximately one percent per year. California was somewhat under that rate, close to half a percent of growth per year.  Meanwhile, hours worked were down in most states and in all but one census division, while compensation was down in most states and all census divisions.

September Small Business Employment by State

Real Estate and Construction Increase, Overall Revenue Declines

The Small Business Revenue Index showed a 0.04 percent decline in overall small business revenues in August.

The professional services industry and the accommodation and food services sector dropped the most, by 0.4 percent each.

The construction industry grew again this month, increasing by 0.4 percent. Real estate services, where the recovery has been bumpier, also resumed recovery this month, increasing 0.4 percent.

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

August Small Business Revenues by Industry

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

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