small business index strongest in three yearsThe CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) decreased by .17 percent during the month of October. This follows a decline of 1.82 percent during the month of September. The private sector added 230,000 jobs during the month of October with large enterprises being the weakest contributor.

“The October reading of the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index demonstrates no change in hiring month over month, with a very minor decline. However, numerically more companies increased headcount than those that decreased. Our SBEI is not seasonally adjusted, but this October reading is better than the three previous years, which has typically supported a consistent trend for the second half of 2014,” says Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services. “Still, small business owners are on high alert from lessons learned in 2008, and their continued slow but steady investment in labor demonstrates that.”

Additional findings from the October SBEI include:

  • 26 percent of the companies included in the SBEI added staff during the October period while 24 percent decreased payroll. 50 percent of the small businesses held steady with their employee totals.
  • There are few critical threats to continued improvement, beyond the concerns in the Eurozone. Developments such as Ebola and ISIS do not represent severe concerns for the economy at their current levels.
  • High confidence moving into the holiday shopping season, which starts earlier each year, will create a baseline of activity that can and should set up the close of 2014 and the start of 2015 for continued economic improvement.

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