Small Business Hiring Trends Look Less Robust

Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is signaling a mixed bag in pre-unemployment and pre-payrolls data for the month of August. The reading only started being issued earlier this year and it may eventually compete against the ADP payrolls report each month, which also attempts to front-run the official unemployment and payrolls report from the U.S. Labor Department. The official Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index measures small business employment growth.

Paychex showed that the national index fell by 0.16% in the past three months. While this still is year-over-year growth, it is less strong than some readings might have indicated in prior months. Paychex went on to show that the Mountain Region climbed to the top reading on the index, and that Wisconsin took the lead as the top-performing state. Furthermore, Dallas continues to lead metro areas in the reading.

The index has grown by 0.20% in the past 12 months through August, but the national index decreased to 100.99. It was said that the pace of small business employment growth slowed slightly and also that August was the third decline in the past four months.

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The Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index aims to provide analysis of small business employment trends across the United States. It 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, aggregating data from approximately 350,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 workers.

The release said:

Although the Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index continues to show positive year-over-year growth, the short-term trend has declined 0.16 percent in the past three months. As most other employment indicators accelerated over the summer, it appears that small businesses may have been on the front end of that trend, in the spring, with the index reaching its peak level in April 2014. The index continues to show positive, long-term gains. However, that growth has slowed in the past several months.

Other key data was as follows:

  • The August 2014 Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index fell 0.11% from last month as the pace of employment growth slowed slightly.
  • The Mountain and East South Central regions showed monthly gains in August, increasing 0.41% and 0.60%, respectively.
  • Dallas led the metro index for the third straight month with a reading of 103.80 — and Texas cities led the nation’s large metros in total job growth this year.

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