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CBIZ Small Business Employment Index Reflects Idle Hiring in February


- A growing participation rate and tightening labor market level out small business hiring -

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies that employ 300 or fewer employees across the U.S., reported a month-over-month seasonally adjusted increase in hiring of 0.09 percent in February, following a decrease in hiring of 2.96 percent in January.

“The February SBEI demonstrated an essentially flat reading for the period,” says Philip Noftsinger, Executive Vice President, CBIZ Employee Benefits. “This falls in line with historical trends, as February rarely features significant hiring developments.”

ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported Wednesday that the private sector posted an increase of 183,000 jobs month-over-month on a seasonally adjusted basis. Small businesses accounted for 12,000 of those jobs, which is a steep drop from January’s report of 107,000.

To view an infographic with data from the employment index, visit the CBIZ blog.1

Additional takeaways from the February SBEI include:

  • February’s snapshot: When compared to the January SBEI, 23 percent of companies increased headcounts, 52 percent refrained from making labor changes, and 25 percent decreased employee totals. Since the SBEI’s inception in June 2009, the February reading has consistently reflected hiring stagnation within the small business sector.
  • Industries at a glance: Of the industries featured in the index, Financial Services, Educational Services, Transportation, and Insurance posted job growth. Conversely, Arts and Entertainment, Construction, and Retail Trade posted employment declines.
  • Geographical hiring: In February, the Southeast and West regions experienced hiring increases of 0.13 percent and 0.75 percent, respectively. The Central and Northeast regions posted decreases of 0.34 percent and 0.31 percent, respectively. The employment changes in each market were mild and can be interpreted as nominal.
  • What’s next? With employment at historically high levels, a growing participation rate and a tightening labor market, we should continue to see little employment movement within the small business sector for the time being.

CBIZ Payroll Services manages payroll services for more than 4,000 businesses. Its index reflects a broad array of industries and geographies corresponding to the markets across the U.S. where CBIZ provides human capital services. The data represented by the SBEI is derived from a segment of employers not completely accounted for by the ADP and federal Bureau of Labor Statistics employment reports.

Editor’s note:

(1) The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on our work at http://www.cbiz.com/insights-resources/blog.

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About CBIZ, Inc.

CBIZ, Inc. provides professional business services that help clients better manage their finances and employees. CBIZ provides its clients with financial services including accounting, tax, financial advisory, government health care consulting, risk advisory, real estate consulting and valuation services. Employee services include employee benefits consulting, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan consulting, payroll, life insurance, HR consulting and executive recruitment. As one of the largest accounting, insurance brokerage and valuation companies in the United States, the company’s services are provided through more than 100 company offices in 33 states. CBIZ Employee Services Organization is a division of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.

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