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8/4/2010
03:17 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Small Business Employment Grows, But Slowly

According to Intuit's Small Business Employment Index for July, the sector accounted for about 40,000 new jobs in July, down from June's revised total. Compensation and hours worked, on the other hand, continued to rise.

According to Intuit's Small Business Employment Index for July, the sector accounted for about 40,000 new jobs in July, down from June's revised total. Compensation and hours worked, on the other hand, continued to rise.The jobs added in July represent a 0.2 percent monthly rise, equivalent to a 2.4 percent annual growth rate. June saw 45,000 new jobs added, for a monthly rate of 0.23 percent and an annual rate of 2.7 percent. Those figures for June were revised upwards dramatically after the initial Index report came out, however -- that first version showed only 18,000 new jobs in June. Intuit spokesperson Sharna Brockett explained that the calculations include figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which are revised monthly, and that the seasonal adjustment factors are re-computed each month; that's why the figures can change so much. It remains to be seen whether the slight drop in July's numbers will remain after those revisions.

Compensation grew 0.7 percent in July, to $2,624, up from a revised June figure of $2,606 per month. Hours worked also increased, by 0.9 percent to a total of 109.1 hours, up from 108.2 in June. That translates to a 25.2-hour work week in July, which means that while total compensation grew, hourly compensation dropped by three cents. Economist Susan Woodward said, "This is a big increase for compensation which, on an annual basis, would be nearly 10 percent per year. The increase in hours worked is also large. It appears that small businesses are busy, and need additional help, but are asking their existing people to work more hours rather than hiring more people."

The latest Index also offers a geographical breakdown. The Mountain and South Atlantic states did the best, showing 0.3 percent growth; the West North Central and East North Central states (the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas east through Ohio) did the worst, at falling 0.2 and 0.1 percent respectively. Among states for which Intuit had data for at least 1,000 businesses, Maryland did the best with 0.5 percent growht, while New Jersey suffered a 0.3 percent drop.

Intuit bases its Index on data from 62,000 businesses with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit Online Payroll.

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