graph linesThe monthly CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) measured a slight decline in small business employment for January 2012, falling by 2.37 percent after a 0.39 percent gain in December. However, despite the small upward turn of the national unemployment, the private sector accounted for 192,000 jobs, far outpacing the 165,000 job projection. January’s private sector numbers also surpassed the revised tally from December of 185,000 jobs.

“This month’s SBEI prints with a decline of 2.37 percent, which is the lowest seasonal reduction in work force in the past two years of January reports,” Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services, said.

The survey also found that 21 percent of small businesses hired employees in January while 31 percent performed layoffs. The bulk of respondents (48 percent) made no changes to their workforce numbers. The data indicate the smallest decline in two years, a hopeful sign of an improving labor market.

“The CBIZ SBEI is not adjusted for seasonality, allowing the user to compare historical results year over year to interpret the raw data to extrapolate what’s occurring in the small business labor market,” Noftsinger said.

For upcoming SBEIs, CBIZ is paying special attention to the growth of jobs as winter progresses and any emerging trends that may aid in predicting the behavior of the jobs market in the long term. CBIZ maintains that the economy will remain resilient despite the past and near-future debt ceiling crises and fluctuating unemployment rate.


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