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Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index March 2024

Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index, March 2024

Small business employment: down by 23,400 jobs

This month marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index. Despite recent downward trends, US small business employment is up 0.07% year-over-year, or 9,400 jobs.

In February, employment for US small businesses with one to nine employees decreased by 23,400 jobs compared to January. These small businesses now employ 13,051,900 people.

Monthly growth rate: down by 0.18%

Compared to January’s small business employment total of 13,075,300 jobs, the monthly decrease in February was 0.18%.*

By sector: all 12 sectors saw contraction in February

In February, small business employment decreased in all 12 sectors covered by the Index. The education and health services sector (NAICS 61-62) contracted the slowest, with a negative monthly growth rate of 0.17%, while transport and warehousing (NAICS 48-49) contracted the fastest (down by 0.59%). Professional and business services (NAICS 54-56) lost the most jobs (8,200) with a negative growth rate of 0.36%.

Small business employment decreased in nearly all US regions

In February, small business employment decreased in seven of the eight US regions covered by the Index. New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) was the only region to see growth, with a monthly increase of 0.09%, creating 600 jobs. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming) contracted the fastest, with a negative growth rate of 0.35% — decreasing by 1,900 jobs. The Far West saw the largest change, with a decrease of 7,100 jobs in February.

In addition to these eight regions, the Index tracks small business employment in 20 states. This month, 10 new states were added: Oregon, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Indiana saw the fastest growth, with a monthly growth rate of 0.05%, while Washington saw the most contraction, at -0.55%. California saw the largest change, with a decrease of 4,000 jobs in January.

More information

Get more data insights from the interactive Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index dashboard.

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 US. Get the latest small business employment insights for the UK here.

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.

Methodology

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

Disclaimer

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.

We provide third-party links as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Intuit does not endorse or approve these products and services, or the opinions of these corporations or organizations or individuals. Intuit accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content on these sites.



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