ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - January 31, 2017) -
The national index increased two months in a row for first time since February 2016
East South Central and South Atlantic lead regions
Tennessee remains top-ranked state
Atlanta leads U.S. metro areas
At 104.73, Other Services remains far ahead of other industries
The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index continued to increase in January to 100.62, beginning 2017 at the same pace of employment growth it averaged throughout 2016. Up 0.13 percent in January and 0.10 percent in December, the national index increased two months in a row for the first time since last February as employment improved 0.21 percent during the past quarter. All regions increased in January, except for the South Atlantic, which had a slight decrease of 0.09 percent. Four of the top five states decreased in January, while nine of the bottom 10 states improved. At 104.17, Tennessee has the strongest index and growth rates among states. With moderate gains in January and indexes exceeding 102, Atlanta, Seattle, and Dallas top the metro rankings. At 104.73, Other Services remains far ahead among industry sectors, while the high-paying Professional and Business Services, Financial Activities, and Manufacturing industries are below 100 to start the year.
"The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index indicates small business employment conditions are beginning 2017 on firm footing, recovering from a slowdown of gains during the fall months," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.
"The increase in this month's index tracks with the positive performance of other economic indicators as well as overall business optimism since the presidential election," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO.
At 100.62, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index starts 2017 at the same pace it averaged throughout 2016. Up 0.13 percent in January and 0.10 percent in December, the national index increased two months in a row for the first time since last February. Though growth rates continue to fluctuate modestly, small businesses have experienced strong job gains for more than 60 consecutive months dating back to 2011.
All regions increased in January, except for the South Atlantic, which had a slight decrease of 0.09 percent. Nevertheless, small business job growth continues to trend strongly in the south; the South Atlantic index has been over 101 for 12 consecutive months. The East South Central region increased once again to a record level, 103.43, to continue as the top-ranked regional index for the third straight month. At 100.73, the Middle Atlantic began 2017 with its strongest index level in more than three years. The West South Central, impacted by low oil prices, has declined 1.81 percent during the past 12 months and is ranked last among regions. New England remains the second-lowest ranked index among regions at 99.81, despite two strong increases in December and January, 0.39 percent and 0.21 percent, respectively.
State Employment Trend
Four of the top five states decreased in January, while nine of the bottom 10 states improved. Trending at a consistently solid level, Florida's index is 101.90, up 0.01 percent from last month and 0.06 percent from last year. At 104.17, Tennessee has the strongest index and growth rates among states. Next in the rankings, small business job growth has been strong in Georgia and Washington with indexes above 102. Georgia and Washington have also shown growth, according to data from the BLS. Illinois, Arizona, Wisconsin, California, and Texas all have indexes lower than their January 2016 levels and are currently below the national baseline mark of 100. Showing signs of a possible recovery, however, Texas improved 0.85 percent during the past two months and is back to just under the national baseline, at 99.98.
Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest states based on U.S. population.
Metropolitan Employment Trend
With moderate gains in January and indexes exceeding 102, Atlanta, Seattle, and Dallas top the metro rankings, but have trended much differently in recent months. Up 1.38 percent from last year, Atlanta increased to 102.89 and ranks first for the second straight month. After three significant decreases to end 2016, Seattle settled at 102.66 in January. Dallas once again has the worst 12-month growth rate, -3.03 percent, but has four consecutive monthly gains. Baltimore rounds out the top five and has the strongest 12-month growth rate, 3.13 percent. At 97.78, despite ranking last among metros, Houston is now moving in a positive direction. Houston followed a strong December, up 0.71 percent, with an even stronger January, up 0.99 percent. Down a sizable 1.02 percent in January, Tampa dropped to 99.05, its fifth decline in the last six months.
Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest metro areas based on U.S. population.
Industry Employment Trend
At 104.73, Other Services remains far ahead among industry sectors, while the high-paying Professional and Business Services, Financial Activities, and Manufacturing industries are below 100 to start the year. Though Manufacturing had the best one-month gain, the industry continued with the worst 12-month growth rate as its index has not had back-to-back gains since 2014. Education and Health Services improved 0.25 percent in January to 101.14, moving up to second place, its best ranking since 2012. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities is up 0.46 percent during the past three months. At 100.02, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities began 2017 above 100 after only spending one month at that level in 2016.
Note: Analysis is provided for eight major industry sectors.
For more information about the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index, visit the index website. Plus, view and download the January 2017 Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index infographic. Or, sign up to receive monthly alerts on the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index.
*Information regarding the professions included in the industry data can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
About the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index
The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index 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, providing analysis of small business employment trends across the U.S. The index analyzes same-store, year-over-year worker count changes to identify and track small business employment trends using real small business payroll data from the Paychex client base. The index is based on aggregated data from approximately 350,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 workers across the United States, one of the largest sample sizes of any small business index or report in the country, and provides timely, accurate insight into national, regional, state, metro, and industry employment activity.
Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, 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 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients across more than 100 locations 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 expertise 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 key business and government customers, including 85 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. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2017 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.
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