Oct 31, 201110:38 AMBlog

Employment index reveals soft market

Oct 31, 2011 - 10:38 AM
Small businesses created 30,000 new jobs in October, but employees are working fewer hours and making less money, according to the latest Intuit Inc. Small Business Employment Index.

The monthly report found that small business employment nationwide grew by 0.14 percent during October, equating to an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent. Hours worked and compensation both decreased by 0.2 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively. Employment in Washington grew by 0.3 percent. Since the hiring trend began in October 2009, small businesses have created 660,000 new jobs. The index is based on figures from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit Online Payroll.

Based on these latest numbers and revised national employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Intuit revised downward the previously reported growth rate for September to 0.19 percent from 0.3 percent. This equates to 40,000 jobs added in September, down from a previously reported 65,000 jobs.

"While small business employment is up in October, it is not up by much," said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the index. "The softness of the small business labor market is not much of a surprise. The breath-holding in Europe over the timing and shape of the Greek bond default was likely weighing on economic decisions at firms of all sizes here, too, and delaying at least some purchase decisions. With the new European deal, there is now hope that this concern will be lifted."


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