Small-business hiring barometer CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) increased by 1.01 percent during March 2014 after decreasing .40 percent in February and 2.1 percent in January. The findings come after ADP’s March survey of the private sector which estimated an addition of 191,000 jobs, below the forecasted 195,000. Though its February survey was revised upward from 139,000 to 178,000 jobs.
“March is a historically positive month for the SBEI, which is provided as raw data and is not seasonally adjusted. The strength of the March 2014 reading is in the middle of the range for SBEI readings for the month dating back to 2009. This indicates that the forces that move our metric positive during the early spring season are still in effect. As warmer weather approaches, small businesses are getting ready for spring economic activity and recovering from months of economic flatness, possibly related to the difficult winter,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services.
Additional key take away points from the March SBEI include:
• Over one-quarter of companies added to payrolls in March while 20 percent decreased their workforces. The remainder of companies, 54 percent, reported no change.
• Small business employment appears stable or even experiencing mild improvement.
• Small businesses are responding to a predictable economic framework as entrepreneurs become more familiar with Affordable Care Act regulations. However, concern may rise as mid-term elections approach and political rhetoric heats up.