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Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index Signals Employment Growth Increase as 2016 Ends

Ending three months of declines, at 100.49, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index closed 2016 on an uptick, 0.10 percent over the previous month and 0.12 percent over the prior year.Click here for high-resolution version

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - January 03, 2017) -

  • The national index grew 0.10 percent from previous month
  • The East South Central continues to lead regions for small business employment growth
  • Tennessee overtakes Georgia as the top-ranked state
  • Atlanta surpasses Seattle to lead among metros
  • Seven of eight industries analyzed increased in December, while Manufacturing declined

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index rebounded 0.10 percent in December, increasing to 100.49, and ending three months of declines. Despite a series of positive and negative swings throughout the year, small business employment growth levels are 0.12 percent higher than the same period a year ago. Among regions, the East South Central continues to experience the strongest growth, up 3.02 percent from last year. Tennessee surpassed neighboring Georgia as the top-ranked state for small business employment. After nine months as the top metro index, Seattle was overtaken by Atlanta. Construction showed the strongest gains in December, while Education and Health Services had the best year-over-year growth.

"A year-end increase brought the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index 0.12 percent above a year ago. The average index level of 100.62 during 2016 surpassed 2015's average of 100.59," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

"The increase of the national index in December seems to mirror the overall sentiment of optimism for small business owners right now. According to the latest data from the NFIB, optimism among small business owners surged following the election," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO.

National Index
Ending three months of declines, at 100.49, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index closed 2016 on an uptick, 0.10 percent over the previous month. The year, however, was marked with volatility, with the national index averaging 100.72 during the first half of 2016 and 100.53 during the second half. Seven of eight industries analyzed increased in December, while Manufacturing declined.

Regional Employment
Keeping pace, the South Atlantic once again reported strong small business job growth. With an index level of 101.89 in December, the South Atlantic averaged 101.88 during the past seven months to close out 2016. The East South Central region increased to a record level, 103.15, to continue as the top-ranked regional index. Conversely, the East North Central region fell 0.31 percent in December and is below the national baseline for the third time in 2016. At 100.70, the Middle Atlantic region increased 0.99 percent in 2016. Another positive in the Northeast, New England regained upward momentum following four consecutive declines with the strongest one-month growth rate, 0.39 percent. Down to 100.09, the Pacific region slowed six straight months to end 2016 after beginning the year with four straight months of gains.

State Employment Trend
Georgia and Washington slipped in December as Tennessee vaulted to the position of top-ranked state. BLS all-employment data also shows Tennessee surging late in the year. Up more than two percent for the second consecutive year, New Jersey is at a record index level and now ranks fourth among states. New Jersey has steadily improved, rising from ranking last at 97.81 in December 2014, to 100.01 in December 2015, and 102.25 in December 2016. Despite the weakest 12-month growth rate, -2.82 percent, Texas had the best one-month growth among states, 0.58 percent. The Texas index is tied with California for 16th place. Ranked last among states in August 2016, Maryland has improved 1.64 percent and eleven spots during the last four months.

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

Metropolitan Employment Trend
At 102.73, Atlanta is the top-ranked metro for the first time in more than five years. Averaging 102.65 during 2016, Atlanta's growth was driven in part by strong performance in the Leisure and Hospitality and Construction industries. After nine months in the top spot, Seattle fell to second place in December. At 101.75, Washington's index is at a five-year high, increasing 0.62 percent this month and 2.28 percent this year. Nearby Baltimore also had a strong 2016, gaining 3.24 percent during the past 12 months, the best among metros. Tampa Bay fell for the eighth time in 2016, as its index is currently ranked 15th among metros and just above the national baseline at 100.07. Only four of the 20 metros analyzed are below 100 -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston.

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

Industry Employment Trend
Up 0.31 percent to 101.00 in December, Construction had the strongest one-month growth rate, jumping two spots to become the second-ranked industry. Other Services (except Public Administration) ranked first, up a modest 0.28 percent during the past 12 months. Ranked last every month since March 2015, Manufacturing was the only industry to decline in December, 0.15 percent. At 97.67, the Manufacturing index is at its lowest level since July 2010. Up 0.45 percent compared to December 2015, Education and Health Services has the best 12-month growth rate among industries. Just ahead of Education and Health Services, at 100.89, Leisure and Hospitality increased for the third consecutive month to 100.92.

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 December 2016 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.

About Paychex
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 © 2016 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

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