SOURCE: Paychex, Inc.

Paychex, Inc.

October 04, 2016 09:13 ET

Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index Indicates Continued Growth, Despite Short-Term Declines

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - October 04, 2016) -

  • Small business job growth slowed 0.18 percent from the previous month, yet is 0.08 percent higher than a year ago
  • South Atlantic reclaims the top spot among regions
  • Washington remains top-ranked state, increasing its sizable lead
  • Seattle continues to lead metro areas, followed by Atlanta and Phoenix
  • Education and Health Services and Financial Activities increase modestly among industries

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index declined from 100.70 in August to 100.52 in September, a decrease of 0.18 percent. While now at its lowest level in 2016, the national index remains 0.08 percent higher than a year ago. After a one-month hiatus, the South Atlantic returned to its position as the top-ranked region. Showing continued strength, Washington's index reached 104.91, an all-time high for the state index. Seattle remained the leading metro area, with its index increasing 0.44 percent from the previous month. Six out of eight industry sectors declined in September, with only Education and Health Services and Financial Activities experiencing modest increases.

"The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index declined in September to its lowest point in 2016. Nevertheless, at 100.52, the national index continues to show solid small business employment gains," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

"While we continue to see mixed results from month-to-month, the year-over-year trends remains positive. Also, with one quarter remaining in 2016, the national index is up 0.15 percent year-to-date," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO.

National Index
At 100.52, the national index is up 0.08 percent from last year, well above the baseline and representing continued small business employment growth. After two increases to start 2016, the national index has alternated between positive and negative results since February. The national index hit a 2016 peak in June and has declined 0.28 percent during the past three months.

Regional Employment
At 101.88, the South Atlantic reclaimed the top spot among regions. Up modestly (0.01 percent) from the previous month, the South Atlantic had the only one-month increase among regions; eight of the nine regions declined from August to September. East North Central had the lowest one-month growth rate, declining 0.59 percent, and is the lowest-ranked regional index, under 100 for the first time since 2013. The Central regions declined most in September, consistent with U.S. job growth now concentrated in the South and West, according to the BLS. The only regions showing positive gains from this time last year are the Middle and South Atlantic and the East South Central.

State Employment Trend
Washington increased its sizable lead among states, up 0.58 percent from August. At 104.91, Washington's index represents the highest level ever achieved by a state index. Virginia showed sustained strength, increasing 3.46 percent in the past 12 months to 102.79, an 11-year high for the state. Texas continued to decline, down 0.89 percent for the month and 2.44 percent for the year, as its economy weakens more broadly with losses beyond the energy sector. Michigan and Illinois have declined significantly from last year (1.76 percent and 1.32 percent, respectively), joining neighboring Indiana with the lowest-ranked state indexes.

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

Metropolitan Employment Trend
Seattle remained the top-ranked metro area, with its index increasing 0.44 percent from the previous month and reaching 105.39, an all-time high for the metro. Continuing to demonstrate strength, Atlanta, at 103.43, and Phoenix, at 101.79, round out the top three. Mirroring the decline in their state, Dallas and Houston have both experienced significant losses, down 3.87 percent and 3.46 percent, respectively, in the past 12 months. Houston remains the lowest-ranked metro index for the second straight month. Following recent gains, Chicago fell 0.98 percent from August to September with its index below 100 at 99.26. Detroit also closed September among the lowest-performing metro areas, down 2.34 percent from last year, at 99.06.

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

Industry Employment Trend
Six out of eight industry sectors declined in September, with only Education and Health Services and Financial Activities experiencing modest increases. Leisure and Hospitality had the largest one-month decline among the industry sectors, down 0.55 percent. Leading the industries is Other Services (except Public Administration) at 104.70. Down 0.84 percent in the past three months, Construction continues to hold its position as the second-highest ranked industry sector with an index level of 101.36.

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 September 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 expertise, 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 expertise to forge 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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