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Paychex-IHS Small Business Jobs Index moderated to 93.97 in February
The latest Paychex | IHS Markit Business Employment Watch shows that small business hiring held mostly steady in February. The Small Business Jobs Index moderated -0.03 percent to 93.97. Wages are trending in a positive direction to begin 2021. Both hourly earnings and weekly hours worked had two consecutive months of growth. Hourly earnings growth increased to 2.91 percent, and hours worked growth improved 0.37 percent. Weekly earnings growth also rose above three percent for the first time since September 2020.
“The Small Business Jobs Index remains relatively flat once again this month and is 4.43 percent below its pre-pandemic level from a year ago,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.
“The increase in hours worked and earnings is a positive indicator for small businesses, a segment that has struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain staff at their previous pay and hours. However, there is still support needed for these entrepreneurs and their employees,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “Last week, the Biden Administration established new guidance so businesses with 20 employees or less can apply exclusively for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for the next week. We look forward to helping many of these small businesses take advantage of this opportunity and quickly apply for this funding through our PPP loan estimator and forgiveness tools in Paychex Flex®.”
The monthly report, widely considered an industry benchmark, draws payroll data of approximately 350,000 Paychex clients to gauge small business wage and employment trends on a national, regional, state, metro, and industry basis.
In further detail, the February report showed:
- Fifteen of the 20 states analyzed have positive weekly hours worked growth in February.
- The South ranks first among regions in small business employment growth, but last in earnings and hours worked growth.
- The Northeast ranks last among regions in small business employment growth, but first in earnings and hours worked growth.
- Florida and Texas remain the top-ranked states for job growth, retaining a wide lead with index levels slightly below 97.
- Tampa’s jobs index surged 0.90 percent in February, making it the top-ranked metro for small business job growth.
- Manufacturing showed the most substantial job growth increase among industries in February, up 0.36 percent.
Posted: March 2, 2021 Tuesday 08:30 AM