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Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Small Business Employment On The Upswing

According to new data released by Intuit, U.S. small businesses employed more people in February than the month before, continuing an 8-month trend of rising SB employment.

According to new data released by Intuit, U.S. small businesses employed more people in February than the month before, continuing an 8-month trend of rising SB employment.The Intuit Small Business Employment Index aggregates data from 50,000 small businesses (fewer than 20 employees) that use Intuit Online Payroll. The data for February (adjusted for seasonality) showed a 0.2% increase over January -- which, according to Intuit, translates into 40,000 new jobs. That's part of a trend that began in mid 2009, when SB employment started trending upward after a decline that had started in December 2007. Employment has grown by nearly 0.8 percent over the past 8 months -- a 1.1 percent annual rate -- accounting for 150,000 new jobs.

Dr. Susan Woodward, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, worked with Intuit to create the Index. "Employment for these small businesses began trending upward in mid-2009, a good sign for the overall economy," she was quoted in the report. ""Small businesses generally recover faster than larger businesses because they begin hiring sooner than big businesses. To see these figures showing a rise in employment at small businesses is very heartening at a time when good news is scarce."


The Intuit Small Business Index continues to show a rise in small business employment, ahead of the National index.

The good news does not extend to how much those employees are earning, however. Flat since September 2008, average monthly compensation remains just over $2,550. That includes the salary small business owners pay themselves.

Both sets of data are drawn from Intuit Online Payroll customers, so they don't necessarily reflect the experiences of small businesses overall. Nevertheless, they are a useful snapshot of a significant portion of the U.S. economy. The Index can be downloaded (PDF) here.

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