SOURCE: Paychex, Inc.

Paychex, Inc.

August 30, 2016 08:30 ET

Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index Continues Solid Pace of Employment Gains

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - August 30, 2016) -

  • Small business jobs growth consistent with previous month and up 0.22 percent from a year ago
  • Mountain regains top position among regions
  • Washington remains top-ranked state, while California nears five-year low
  • Seattle continues to lead metro areas, followed by Atlanta
  • Other Services (except Public Administration) leads industry sectors; Manufacturing ranks lowest, down 0.85 percent from a year ago

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index remained steady in August, up modestly, 0.02 percent, from the previous month. At 100.70, the national index is up 0.22 percent from a year ago. Mountain reclaimed its lead among regions, pushing South Atlantic to the second-ranked spot. Washington continued as the top-ranked state index at 104.30, while California is down 0.82 percent from a year ago and nearing a five-year low. Seattle increased its lead among metros with the strongest one-month gain at 0.92 percent. There was little movement among industries in August, yet Manufacturing continues to struggle, down 0.85 percent from a year ago.

"The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index has plateaued this year, albeit at a solid pace of employment gains," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. "At 100.70, the August index moved up just 0.02 percent from July and is off 0.01 percent from the 2016 average of 100.71."

"The August index reflects a year-to-date trend of steady employment growth," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "Additionally, the growth appears to be wide-spread, with all nine regions above the national baseline of 100."

National Index
Indicating consistent growth in small business jobs, at 100.70, the national index has maintained a very stable level in 2016. The national index is up 0.22 percent from last August, following slower job growth in the second half of 2015. During the past 12 months, employment conditions strengthened, as strong gains in the Atlantic regions offset a moderate slowdown in the Pacific.

Regional Employment
All nine regions are above the national baseline of 100 for the first time since the beginning of 2016. Edging South Atlantic, Mountain increased 0.17 percent in August to move back into the top spot among regions, at 101.95. Maintaining its strong pace of employment growth, at 101.87, South Atlantic was flat in August and is up about one percent from last year. At 100.52, the Pacific index is down 0.66 percent year-over-year and at a four-year low. With its index spending all of 2015 below 100 and now being over 100 all of 2016, Middle Atlantic has the best 12-month growth rate, up 1.04 percent. Despite a minor 0.06 percent loss in August, New England fell three spots to the lowest-ranked regional index.

Note: Percentages displayed in the regional heat map reflect 12-month changes.

State Employment Trend
Trailed by five southern states, Washington is the top-ranked state index at 104.30. Ranked second, Georgia has come back sharply in 2016, after slowing during most of 2015. Below 100 in August 2015, Virginia is up 3.19 percent year-over-year to 102.73. Interestingly, Indiana had the lowest one-month growth rate, falling 1.02 percent, while neighboring Illinois had the highest one-month growth rate, up 0.90 percent. Still representing strong employment growth, at 101.01, Texas has the weakest 12-month growth rate among states at -1.42 percent. Nearing a five-year low, California fell 0.14 percent from the previous month and is down 0.82 percent from last year as its index level is 100.09, only slightly above the national baseline. Six of the seven lowest-ranked states decreased in August, while the top three states had sizable gains.

Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest states based on U.S. population.

Metropolitan Employment Trend
At 104.93, Seattle increased its lead among metros with the strongest one-month gain in August, 0.92 percent. Atlanta also had a solid increase, up 0.43 percent, as its index nears 104. At 102.60, Dallas is the only other metro above 102, but has fallen 3.06 percent from a year ago. Up 2.28 percent during the past 12 months, New York City moved into the top five with its tenth consecutive increase. Miami hit a record high level in February 2016 at 102.21, but has fallen 1.22 percent during the last six months to 100.96. Chicago and St. Louis followed strong July gains with even stronger results in August to move out of their respective lowest-ranked positions from the previous month. Houston slowed 0.61 percent in August to 99.20, the lowest index level among metros.

Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest metro areas based on U.S. population.

Industry Employment Trend
There was little movement among industries in August, as Financial Activities had the strongest gain, 0.23 percent. Unable to maintain the baseline index level associated with moderate employment growth, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities fell below 100 from July to August. Trade, Transportation and Utilities was the only industry sector to increase in July, and the only industry besides Construction to decrease in August. At 101.63, Construction still ranks second among industries and is trending at the level of growth seen during the second half of 2015. Essentially unchanged in August, Manufacturing is the lowest-ranked industry at 98.47, down 0.85 percent year-over-year. Financial Activities, 99.48, and Professional and Business Services, 99.47, are the next lowest industries, yet are a full point ahead of Manufacturing.

Note: Analysis is provided for eight major industry sectors.

For more information about the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index, visit the index website. Plus, view and download the August 2016 Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index infographic. Or, sign up to receive monthly alerts on the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index.

*Information regarding the professions included in the industry data can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

About the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index
The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index is released each month by Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses, and IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, providing analysis of small business employment trends across the U.S.

The index analyzes 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, one of the largest sample sizes of any small business index or report in the country, and provides timely, accurate insight into national, regional, state, metro, and industry employment activity.

About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients across more than 100 locations and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting www.paychex.com, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)
IHS Markit (NASDAQ: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world's leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2016 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

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