August Small Business Employment Unchanged, Only Construction Sees Revenue Growth

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intersecting green and red graph linesIntuit’s monthly Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexeshave found that U.S. small business employment ever so slightly dropped in August and revenues declined 0.18 percent in July. Only the construction sector showed an increase of 0.3 percent. The declines come even as employees experienced an increase in both average compensation and hours worked.

Among other findings, the study discovered that:

• Employment at small businesses dropped by 0.01 percent in August.

• August saw an increase in average monthly compensation of 0.4 percent with average monthly pay reaching $2,751, a $10 increase over July.

• Average monthly hours rose 0.6 percent in August to 111.2 hours, an increase of 42 minutes over July.

“The slight drop of one-hundredth of 1 percent in August employment equates to about 1,300 jobs lost, which means employment was essentially flat for the month. This is the second month that small business recovery has been flat or falling,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “Small business employment continues to lag behind total private employment, which has risen 7 percent since the trough in March 2010, while small business employment has only risen by 2 percent.”

She continued: “Revenue per small business has continued to decline overall and for all industry sectors except construction. The healthcare, retail and real estate services industries show the largest declines. Real estate services saw the greatest decline at a per-business level in July, as many Realtors who were inactive are now re-entering the market, competing for existing business. The healthcare industry has experienced the second largest – and the longest – overall revenue decline, at 3.2 percent since mid-2012. Construction continues to be the bright spot in small business revenues, up 21 percent from the dip in mid-2010.”


By Joshua Bjerke