While the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index grew 0.23 percent in the past 12 months, the national index remained even for October, coming in at 100.84. Though down 0.25 percent during the past three months, the national index is still in a position of strength, well above the baseline of 100. Employment growth in the Central regions put the West North Central region at the top of the regional index, while Washington took over the lead among the states, and Dallas reclaimed the top spot among metro areas.
The downturn seen in four of the past five months leveled off in October, as the pace of employment growth was unchanged from September. Though the national index remains at a low for 2014, the 12-month growth rate continues to trend positively at 0.23 percent.
The Central regions lead expansion, moving to the top of the regional index at 102.45, West North Central spiked 0.68 percent from September to October. Also, the West South Central region rebounded from a dip last month to exceed 102 again. Employment conditions in the Eastern regions lag, with New England declining the most in October and during the past year.
The indexanalyzes same-store, year-over-year worker count changes to identify and track small business employment trends using real small business payroll data from the Paychex client base. The index is based on aggregated data from approximately 350,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 workers across the United States.