Even as employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, employment in small businesses grew by 1.25 percent over February, an impressive jump over February’s 0.2 percent increase. The source of the data, the CBIZ Small Business Index, found that job gains in March were less than half of the average number over the prior six months; a period were nearly 200,000 jobs were added to the economy each month. March job gains were down about 180,000 under February.
“This month’s SBEI shows a 1.25 percent growth rate, which is extremely strong in terms of recent trends,” said Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services.
Over one-quarter of survey respondents reported making hires in March while 19 percent said they had reduced their staffing numbers. The majority of respondents (54 percent) reported a stable employment figures. Additionally, the survey found that small businesses are becoming ever more optimistic of the future economy, and higher seasonal employment numbers should be expected as summer approaches and consumer confidence remains high.
“For the time being, we can expect hiring trends to accelerate as the economic engine begins to outweigh drag forces such as government spending reductions and concerns over Europe’s debt,” Noftsinger says.