The CBIZ Small Business Index (SBEI), a measurement for national hiring trends in small business, rose by .2 percent in February, beginning what is hoped to be a sustained rebound from January’s 2.37 percent decrease.
“Our SBEI returned to positive territory in February, showing consistency with a gradually improving economy and a slowly improving job market,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services.
The primary highlights from the new data include:
• 23 percent of small businesses increased staffing while 24 percent decreased their workforce and 53 percent maintained its current size.
• 2013 is consistent with trends over the past several years, each showing a .2 percent growth in small business employment for this period.
• The sequester, and potential additional tax increases, may lead to further job losses even as the economy gains momentum. It is unknown whether jobs will become a part of that growth.
“Certainly, large companies like Boeing reducing their workforce draw national attention, but growth enjoyed by the automakers and the trend of re-shoring manufacturing jobs should more than compensate for an adjustment by one particular industry in terms of total employment,” says Noftsinger. “In regards to other national news affecting regional employers, damage from Hurricane Sandy has probably reached a stage where it’s accretive to the job market rather than dilutive.”
The CBIZ poll represents the responses of over 3,500 small businesses and reflects a significant collection of industries and geographies across the country.