Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index July 2023

Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index, July 2023

+23,200 jobs | 0.18%

In the US in June, small businesses with one to nine employees created 23,200 jobs — an increase of 0.18% since May. Nationally, these businesses now employ 12,886,500 people*, up from 12,863,300 in the previous month.

This is the first time small business employment has increased in the US since the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index was launched in March 2023.

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This growth is a significant milestone.
Professor Ufuk Akcigit

Sectors with the largest small business employment growth

  • Agriculture, natural resources, and mining (NAICS 11 & 21): with a monthly growth rate of 0.58%, adding 1,100 jobs. Agriculture includes farming, forestry, fishing, and hunting. Natural resources and mining cover oil and gas extraction, raw materials, and associated support services.
  • Construction (NAICS 23): with a monthly growth rate of 0.30%, adding 2,300 jobs. This sector includes both residential and commercial construction.
  • Education and health services (NAICS 61 & 62): with a monthly growth rate of 0.17%, adding 4,000 jobs. Education includes business training, sports coaching, and language schools as well as colleges and universities. Health services cover both physical and mental health care.

Information sector leads those with fastest falling small business employment

  • Information (NAICS 51): down by 0.51% with 1,500 fewer jobs. This sector includes TV, movies, news media, music, and book publishers as well as software and telecommunications.
  • Leisure and hospitality (NAICS 71 & 72): down by 0.33% with 5,200 fewer jobs. Leisure includes museums and attractions, theaters, casinos, golf courses, gyms, and spectator sports. Hospitality includes hotels, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. 
  • Utilities, transport, and warehousing (NAICS 22 & 48-49): down by 0.32% with 200 fewer jobs. Utilities include power generation and distribution as well as sewage, irrigation, and air conditioning. Transport and warehousing covers all aspects of private and commercial transport for people and goods — including trucking, taxis, air, rail, and storage.

Small business employment rises in seven out of eight regions

Small business employment rose fastest in the Plains region (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota) with a monthly growth rate of 0.62% in June — or 5,400 new jobs created. For the total number of jobs created, the Great Lakes region comes out on top, with 7,300 new jobs — a monthly growth rate of 0.39%. This region covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The only US region where small business employment did not grow in June was the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas). But here, employment didn’t fall. The monthly growth rate was flat, at 0%. 

Ufuk Akcigit, the Arnold C. Harberger Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, said: “In May, the inflation rate exhibited a deceleration, with a Consumer Price Index of 4%, marking its lowest level in two years. Additionally, the Federal Reserve broke its pattern of ten consecutive interest rate hikes since March 2022 by opting to skip an increase. 

“These developments coincided with a notable upswing in small business optimism, as reported by the National Federation of Independent Business Owners. We are pleased to report that the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index has captured these positive momentums in the small business sector, as evidenced by an 0.18% increase in small business employment compared to the previous month. 

“This growth is a significant milestone, as it marks the first positive expansion since the launch of our index in March 2023. This may be a signal of improving conditions within the U.S. small business landscape; a close watch of the Index over the next few months will show if this growth trend continues. The positive developments we witnessed in June can primarily be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the easing inflationary pressures played a crucial role in fostering a conducive environment for small business growth. Additionally, the stability of interest rates, and the resilience displayed by the banking sector, further contributed to the expansion of small business activity during this period.

“The construction sector emerged as one of the top-performing industries, experiencing a notable 0.30% increase in small business employment. This growth may be attributed to the robust demand for housing coupled with limited supply, which has driven an expansion of new construction activities. The Homebuilder Sentiment Index, which measures National Association of Homebuilders members' views on market conditions for the sale of new homes, reached its highest level in 11 months. This data point further corroborates the power of the insights of the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index. These indicators collectively may suggest a positive outlook for the construction sector and reflect the industry's resilience in the face of prevailing market conditions.

“Although there have been variations observed across different sectors and regions, the overall outlook for small business activities in the US this month appears to show some signs of promise.” 

Get all the details from the interactive Small Business Index dashboard.

More information

Media inquiries

Media contact details for QuickBooks in the US can be found here on the Intuit website.

Canada Index

The Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index is also published monthly in Canada. Get the latest small business employment insights for Canada here

UK Index

The Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index is also published monthly in the UK, a few days after the US and Canada. Get the latest small business hiring insights for the UK on July 10.

About the Index

The Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index is a timely new measure of small business employment and hiring in the US, Canada, and the UK. The Index launched in March 2023 and is updated monthly. The Index uses purpose-built economic models to normalize anonymized QuickBooks data to reflect the general population of small businesses in each country; it is not a reflection of Intuit’s business. The Index was developed in collaboration with leading economist Professor Ufuk Akcigit and an international team of researchers and academics.


The Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index creates aggregated data outputs from a sample of anonymized QuickBooks Online Payroll customer records which are calibrated using statistical methods to create modeled results which better reflect the general population of small businesses in each country, as represented by published official statistics. Statistical adjustment ensures the Index truly reflects employment and job vacancy changes rather than trends in the QuickBooks customer base.

Read more or download the full methodology here.

Rounded values

Total and monthly changes in employment and job vacancies have been rounded to the nearest hundred. Monthly changes and growth rates are calculated before total employment or job vacancy values are rounded. Rates have been rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Seasonal adjustments

The Index’s data insights are seasonally adjusted to limit the effect of seasonal patterns in employment and hiring throughout the year, which lead to regular fluctuations in workforce growth and contraction.

Employment growth formula

Employment growth(t) = [Employment(t)-Employment(t-1)]/[0.5*Employment(t)+0.5*Employment(t-1)]

*Employment levels

The Index produces a monthly prediction of employment growth rates by country, region, and sector. In order to translate these growth rates into the number of jobs/vacancies gained or lost, the growth rates are multiplied by the prior month’s predicted employment levels, except during the months when official statistics are published. During those months, the latest official employment levels that have been reported are used in the calculation instead of the Index’s prior month’s predicted employment levels. As a result, the Index’s predicted total employment levels may at times differ from the predicted growth rates. Official statistics are published at different frequencies depending on the country ranging from monthly to quarterly.

Time series

The Index uses data going back to January 2015 in the US and Canada and to January 2018 in the UK. Published at the earliest opportunity every month, the Index shows the number of people employed by small businesses (in the US and Canada) or the number of job vacancies at small businesses (in the UK) in the previous month and how that number has changed since the month before. The Index helps to eliminate almost all of the time lags in official statistics by providing estimated projections of what those statistics will ultimately show when they are published.

Sample sizes

The total sample across all three countries is around 424,000 small businesses. The US sample is almost 333,000 small businesses. The Canadian sample is almost 66,000 small businesses. The UK sample is almost 25,000 small businesses. The minimum sample sizes for regions or sectors to be included in the Index are 1,000 small businesses in the US, 800 small businesses in Canada, and 200 small businesses in the UK. 

Target populations

In the US and UK, the Index targets the populations of small businesses with one to nine employees. In Canada, the target population is small businesses with one to 19 employees. The differences ensure the Index’s data insights are consistent with official statistics in each country, which are used for benchmarking during the calibration process. Timely data insights for these populations of small businesses are particularly valuable since most datasets fail to cover this portion of the economy well. Please note: Unlike in the US and Canada, the UK Index uses job vacancy data for calibration rather than employment data because official employment statistics are not currently available for small businesses on a monthly basis. 

External data sources

External data sources used alongside the samples of anonymized QuickBooks Online Payroll customer data include:

Geographic regions

Industry sectors


This content is for information purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by region, state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit does not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

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