U.S. small business employment grew in December, though compensation and hours worked for hourly employees declined. Small business employers added 20,000 jobs in December, for a cumulative total of more than 555,000 jobs since March 2010. Overall, small business revenues declined 0.19 percent in November.
"After no progress from May through October, small business employment has now resumed its slow rise for the second month in a row," said Susan Woodward, the economist who works with Intuit to create the indexes. "For December, the growth rate is about one-tenth of 1 percent, for an annualized rate of just over 1 percent.
"Small business employment continues to recover even more slowly than overall employment. The recovery for non-farm payroll employment is just under 6 percent from the trough in February 2010, while the employment recovery for private payroll, not including government, is a bit over 7 percent. By comparison, small business recovery is only 2.8 percent for the same period."
The Intuit Small Business Employment Index shows a 0.09 percent increase in employment. The Employment Index reflects data from approximately 210,000 small business employers, a subset of small businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy. The National Employment Index is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Slight Declines in Hours Worked, Compensation
Hourly employees worked an average of 107.2 hours in December, which is a 12-minute decrease from November's figure of 107.4 hours, making for a 24.7-hour work week.
Small Business Employee Monthly Hours Worked for hourly employees decreased by 0.16 percent in December. The levels reflect data from approximately 572,000 hourly employees of the Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll customer set of approximately 210,000 small businesses and is not necessarily representative of all small businesses. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.
Average monthly pay for small business employees fell to $2,694 in December, down slightly from $2,695 in November. The equivalent yearly wages would be about $32,300. This average includes wages that small business owners pay to themselves.
"The hourly wage for hourly small business employees nudged up five cents an hour to $15.92 per hour. This is two percent above the average hourly wage from a year ago, for the hourly employees of Intuit's online payroll customers," said Woodward.
Small Business Employee Monthly Compensation for all employees decreased by 0.05 percent in December. This data includes the compensation paid by small business owners to themselves. The levels reflect data from approximately 941,000 employees of the Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll customer set of 210,000 small businesses, and are not necessarily representative of all small business employees. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.
Strong Geographic Small Business Employment Growth
Small business employment showed increases in nearly all of the 38 states tracked by Intuit's Small Business Employment Index. Only six states showed employment declines, while two remained flat. Washington showed the largest employment increase, at 0.3 and 0.2, respectively. The largest decline was in Michigan at 0.18 percent.
By census division, the East North Central region, which includes Michigan, showed the largest decline at 0.03 percent. The only other region to see a slight decline was New England at 0.1 percent. The rest of the country showed employment gains, led by the Pacific division.
Small Business Employment results were mixed for the states in which Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business firms. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.
Small Business Revenues Continue to Decline
The November revenue index showed overall small business revenue decreased 0.19 percent, on a per-business basis. Per sector, all industries saw revenue decline except for the construction sector and the 'other services' sector, the latter of which covers non-professional services.
The real estate services industry showed the largest decline at 0.6 percent. The professional services industry followed, dropping by 0.5 percent. The construction industry showed the larger increase of 0.6 percent, while other services grew 0.2 percent.
This index is based on data from QuickBooks Online, covering the period from Nov. 1-30.
The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index is based on data from more than 150,000 small businesses, a subset of the total QuickBooks Online financial management user base.
About The Intuit Small Business Indexes
The Intuit Small Business Indexes provide unique, near real-time information each month on the activity of the smallest businesses in the U.S. in terms of revenue, hiring and compensation trends. The Employment Index is based on anonymized, non-identifiable aggregated data from approximately 200,000 small business employers, a subset of users that use Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll. The Revenue Index is based on anonymized, non-identifiable aggregated data from approximately 150,000 small businesses, a subset of users that use Intuit's QuickBooks Online financial management offering and are matched in Dun & Bradstreet's small business industry classifications. Together, the indexes provide a more complete picture of the economic health of the nation's small businesses. More information on the Intuit Small Business Indexes is available at index.intuit.com.