National studies continue to paint the picture of small business in 2017’s America, with the latest showing a continued decline in small business job growth but an increase in wages.
The Paychex IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch’s Small Business Jobs Index declined 0.16 percent in May to 100.34. That’s a 0.25 percent decrease in growth year-over-year and the index’s weakest three-month change since July 2009.
That’s also the lowest figure the index has reached in the last five years, matching its October 2015 dip. The index, which uses aggregated payroll data from businesses with fewer than 50 workers, saw its five-year peak at 101.26 in April 2014.
“The increased pace of small business employment growth that we saw following the election of President Trump has slowed,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “Small business owners now seem to be taking a more wait-and-see approach to hiring. Despite that, wages continue to rise, which is certainly good news for workers.”
Indeed, national hourly earnings in May were at $25.76, increasing 2.87 percent year-over-year. Washington, in particular, led all states for year-over-year growth (3.79 percent) in weekly earnings, while also topping the list for weekly hours for hourly workers (31.03 hours).