The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) increased by 1.22 percent during December 2014. This follows a decrease of -1.04 percent during the month of November and marks the first positive gain in the SBEI since the reading for the period of August 2014.
“Small business owners appeared extremely optimistic according to the November NFIB report, which pinned its gains to business conditions six months from now. The December SBEI results indicate that hiring advanced for those businesses in December, perhaps a result of that optimism,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services.
Additional take-away points from the SBEI include:
- 28 percent of the companies included in the SBEI during December added staff during the period, while only 21 percent decreased payroll commitments. 51 percent of the small businesses in the Index made no change to their employee totals.
- The December 2014 SBEI reading exceeded the prior two December readings in 2013 and 2012, further supporting that the optimism felt in the November NFIB report may have translated to additional job growth beyond what should be seasonally expected for December.
- There is still reason for caution though, as the numbers continue to show growth in sectors that traditionally represent part-time employment.
“The path to labor recovery does run through part-time growth, as employers step carefully back into investments in labor through part-time and temporary help. So, while job growth is being realized, full-time growth is still needed, and can reasonably be expected if the overall economic environment can support transition from part-time investments in labor to full-time commitments,” continued Noftsinger.