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2019 Kicks Off with a Slight Increase in Small Business Hiring and Wage Growth

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows a 0.04 increase in small business job growth and a 0.07 increase in hourly earnings growth for the month of January

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch started the new year with slight gains in small business job and hourly earnings growth. The Small Business Jobs Index increased 0.04 percent in January to 98.92, though it remains down 0.96 year-over-year. At 2.49 percent ($0.65) in January, hourly earnings growth has improved each month since August with wages now standing at $26.88. Weekly earnings growth, however, has slipped below two percent as weekly hours worked have declined.

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch started the new year with slight gains in small business job and hourly earnings growth.

"With a 0.04 percent increase in January, the recent losses seen in small business job growth abated to begin the new year," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

"The uncertainty caused by the government shutdown doesn't appear to have had a major negative impact on small business hiring, which increased for the first time since May 2018," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "The job gain is certainly welcome news, but it remains a challenging hiring environment for small businesses given the low unemployment levels."

Broken down further by geography and industry, the December report showed:

  • The top region for both employment and wage growth is the West.
  • Wisconsin is the strongest state for small business job growth; California took over as the top state for wage growth.
  • Dallas remains first among metros in job growth; Riverside, California is once again the top metro for wage growth.
  • With a 0.14 percent increase in January, Construction is back above 100 and ranks second among industries in jobs growth.

The complete results for January, including interactive charts detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at www.paychex.com/employment-watch. Highlights are available below.

National Jobs Index

  • At 98.92, the steady decline in the jobs index halted this month, as January saw a slight increase (0.04 percent).
  • The national index remained below 99 in January and is down 0.96 percent year-over-year.

National Wage Report

  • At 2.49 percent in January, hourly earnings growth has improved each month since August. However, growth is lower than the January 2018 rate of 2.76 percent.
  • With a reduction in weekly hours worked, weekly earnings growth has declined below two percent.

Regional Jobs Index

  • Dipping below 98 in January, the Northeast fell 1.72 percent during the past year, further increasing the gap with the rest of the country.
  • The West began 2019 with the best one-month growth rate among regions, 0.18 percent, taking over the top spot at 99.49.

Regional Wage Report 

  • Though negative across all regions in January, the recent downtrend in weekly hours worked growth is stabilizing.
  • At 3.28 percent, the West remains by far the strongest region for hourly earnings growth, though a decrease in weekly hours worked has pulled weekly earnings growth below three percent.

State Jobs Index

  • At 100.41, Wisconsin remains the top state for small business employment growth for the third consecutive month.
  • With an index below 97, small business employment growth in New Jersey has slowed considerably, down 2.50 percent in the last three months.

Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest states based on U.S. population.

State Wage Report

  • After 23 months as the leading state for hourly earnings growth, Arizona slipped to second as California now ranks first among states, up 3.44 percent.
  • Indiana ranks last among states in both earnings and hours worked growth.

Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest states based on U.S. population.

Metropolitan Jobs Index 

  • Dallas ranks first among metros for the third consecutive month, surging to 102.94 in January.
  • The New York metro had a significant decrease in January, joining Northeast metros Philadelphia and Boston with an index below 98.

Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest metro areas based on U.S. population.

Metropolitan Wage Report

  • Riverside, Phoenix, and Denver are the metro pace setters for hourly earnings growth, with California metros Los Angeles and San Diego rounding out the top five.
  • Though very low at 1.21 percent, Houston's hourly earnings growth trend has turned upwards after a long decline.

Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest metro areas based on U.S. population.

Industry Jobs Index

  • With a 0.14 percent increase in January, Construction is back above 100 and ranks second among industries.
  • Finance fell below 98 in January, joining Manufacturing at the bottom of the industry rankings.

Note: Analysis is provided for seven major industry sectors.

Industry Wage Report  

  • At $16.96/hour, Leisure and Hospitality is the lowest wage sector, but has the fastest growth, 4.10 percent.
  • Consistently among the weakest sectors for hourly earnings growth, Education and Health Services has been below two percent for the past six months.

Note: Analysis is provided for seven major industry sectors.

For more information about the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, visit www.paychex.com/employment-watch and sign up to receive monthly Employment Watch alerts.

*Information regarding the professions included in the industry data can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

About the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch
The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch is released each month by Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses, and IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics, and expertise. Focused exclusively on small business, the monthly report offers analysis of national employment and wage trends, as well as examines regional, state, metro, and industry sector activity. Drawing from the payroll data of approximately 350,000 Paychex clients, this powerful tool delivers real-time insights into the small business trends driving the U.S. economy.

About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by more than 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves over 650,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2018, across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting www.paychex.com, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)
IHS Markit (INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world's leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2019 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

Media Contacts

Lisa Fleming
Paychex, Inc.
+1 585-387-6402
lfleming@paychex.com 
@PaychexNews 

Kate Smith
IHS Markit+1 781-301-9311
katherine.smith@ihsmarkit.com 

Tess Flynn
Mower
+1 716-880-1488
tflynn@mower.com 

The Small Business Jobs Index increased 0.04 percent in January to 98.92, though it remains down 0.96 year-over-year.
At 2.49 percent ($0.65) in January, hourly earnings growth has improved each month since August with wages now standing at $26.88.
Paychex Logo (PRNewsfoto/Paychex, Inc.)
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