jobsAccording to September’s CBIZ Small Business Employment Index, hiring for small businesses fell by 2.55 percent in the last month following a 1.15 percent uptick in August. The fall, which more than doubles the previous month’s gain, is the third largest in the history of the report. The CBIZ Index keeps track of hiring trends for companies with no more than 300 employees.

“The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index shows a dramatic drop in employment in businesses with less than 300 employees for September,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services. “Part of the reason is the traditional end of summer and the start of the back-to-school season; however, this drop registers higher than previous September shifts we’ve tracked.”

Overall, the survey found that 18 percent of respondents hired more staff in September, 32 percent reduced their staffing levels, and 50 percent made no changes to their number of employees. CBIZ reports that the decline could substantially impact holiday hiring if no fix is found.

“If today’s reading is supported by additional negative readings from other indicators and prospective evaluations of the SBEI, the ‘fiscal cliff’ may be causing small business owners to reduce the resources they are deploying,” Noftsinger says. “The inability to act by the federal government is likely a key reason for this situation.”

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