increasing and decreasing graph linesFor the fifth straight month, employment growth at small businesses has slowed while revenues continue to slide according to Intuit, Inc.’s monthly Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes. The Small Business Employment Index shows that the small business employment rate rose a meager 0.16 percent in August, down from an already paltry 0.2 percent in July. Average monthly compensation grew by a microscopic 0.08 percent (about $2), down from a $7 growth in July. Average monthly hours fell by 0.6 percent (42 minutes).

The Small Business Revenue Index shows that revenue fell by 0.6 percent over July 2012 with the retail and accommodation and food services sectors experiencing the largest declines at 1.1 percent each. The industry taking the second highest hit was real estate services at -0.7 percent. The smallest revenue decline was found in the health care and social assistance sector down 0.4 percent but even that was up by a multitude of 10 over June’s decline of 0.0 percent.

“This month’s indexes indicate that small businesses are hurting,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “The employment rate has been slowing since April, and revenues have been falling since March, declining 2.7 percent from its most recent peak. At an annual rate, this is a decline of just over 6 percent, which is substantial.”

“Among the industry sectors tracked by Intuit, the hardest hit recently has been small business retail, whose revenue has declined 6.1 percent from January to July,” said Woodward. “The sector with the smallest decline is health care, which fell 1.3 percent from December 2011.”

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