Small Business Monthly Employment Index Up

   CLEVELAND -(BUSINESS WIRE) - 3/6/2011 - The February CBIZ Small Business Employment Index, a barometer for hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, increased by .25 percent through the month, after posting a decrease of 2.62 percent in January; almost a 3 percent upswing in net month over month. 
   “This month’s data shows a move back to positive hiring trends, after what we believed to be a seasonal decline in January. While the number isn't as high as we would like to see, it is representative of where we believe the cautious small business employer is as it relates to hiring,” CBIZ Payroll Services Unit President Philip Noftsinger said. “As we continue to move into 2011, the small business owner will continue to carefully watch demand factors and the overall economy to gauge whether the long-term investment in human resources is a safe bet.”
    Additional take-away points from the February data set include:
  • At-a-glance: The CBIZ Index focuses on hiring trends at small companies. The data shows that 24.7 percent of the companies surveyed increased payroll, while an additional 52.5 percent maintained headcount.
  • Large verses Small: Small businesses are often cited as the “engine of our economy,” as they create the majority of employment opportunities in the country. Large companies, described as those with more than 500 employees, often lag their smaller counterparts (small businesses and entrepreneurs) in terms of the speed of growth and hiring. This trend is expected to continue as the small business owner is able to stay nimble in the face of economic headwinds.
  • What to watch: While some might cheer any increase in hiring, and a gain against the high unemployment rate, additional layoffs at the federal level are likely coming in the months ahead as cost-cutting efforts are expected to begin in order to control the national deficit.
    “At present, small business owners are hesitant to take large risks as they continue to gauge needs of their customers, monitor big business activity in their backyards and what is to come next in terms of tax and healthcare policies,” Noftsinger said.
    Currently, CBIZ Payroll Services manages payroll services for approximately 3,000 businesses that employ fewer than 300 people. The sample reflects a broad array of industries and geographies corresponding to the markets across the United States where CBIZ provides services.