SOURCE: Paychex, Inc.

Paychex, Inc.

November 29, 2016 08:30 ET

Small Business Employment Growth Consistent with 2015, According to Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - November 29, 2016) -

  • With one month remaining in 2016, the national index has averaged 100.64, just above the 2015 average of 100.59
  • The East South Central leads regions for small business employment growth
  • Georgia overtakes Washington as the top-ranked state
  • Seattle maintains a narrow lead over Atlanta in the metro rankings
  • Leisure and Hospitality increased by 0.20 percent in November, while Construction declined 0.17 percent

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index moderated slightly in November, down 0.02 percent from the previous month. This marks the third consecutive decline, which saw the national index decrease from 100.70 in August to 100.38 in November. Despite this, small business employment growth levels remain consistent with the same period a year ago. Among regions, the East South Central is experiencing the strongest growth, up 3.42 percent from last year. Georgia overtook Washington as the top-ranked state for small business employment growth. Seattle maintained its lead as the top metro area, with Atlanta following as a close second. Small business jobs growth for Leisure and Hospitality increased by 0.20 percent from the previous month, while Construction declined 0.17 percent.

"At 100.38, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index was essentially unchanged from the previous month and from November 2015, representing consistent small business job growth rates from this time a year ago," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

"Given the election results, small business owners seemed to take a 'wait and see' attitude," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "We'll be watching the next few indexes closely to see what the numbers may indicate about the sentiment and outlook for small business."

National Index
At 100.38, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index settled at a level consistent with this time a year ago, after three consecutive months of decline. The recent slowdown in job growth flattened from October to November, with the index decreasing just 0.02 percent. Despite the index's recent declines, small businesses have experienced positive job gains over the base year for more than 60 consecutive months, dating back to 2011. With one month remaining in 2016, the national index has averaged 100.64, just above 2015's average of 100.59.

Regional Employment
Declines in New England, Pacific, and the West South Central, specifically Texas, drove the national index down in November, offsetting modest gains for the rest of the country. Climbing to 101.93, with a 0.18 percent increase in November, the South Atlantic is back near its record high set in June, 101.96. However, neighboring East South Central jumped 1.40 percent in November to 102.96 to take the lead among regions. Compared to the East South Central, the West South Central has trended in the opposite direction during the past year, falling from second to last place among regions. Moving farther west, Pacific began 2016 with four consecutive increases, but has decreased each of the past five months and is now at its lowest level since January 2012.

State Employment Trend
Georgia overtook Washington as the top-ranked state, increasing 0.72 percent from October and 2.31 percent from last November. Georgia's index has averaged 102.49 in 2016, as small business job growth in the state has been fast-paced. While Washington slowed in October and November, its index has averaged 104.01 in 2016. Both Georgia and Washington have experienced strong all-firm job growth, according to the BLS. Hitting a record-high pace of small business job growth last month, New Jersey increased again in November to 101.99. At 99.14, Texas is down 1.86 percent during the past quarter and 3.55 percent for the past year. Below the baseline at 99.73, California dropped three more spots to 17th among states, ahead of only Texas, Arizona, and Illinois.

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

Metropolitan Employment Trend
Seattle maintained its lead over Atlanta in the metro rankings, but the gap shrunk significantly with Seattle at 103.63 and Atlanta at 103.50. With an index of 100.19, Minneapolis is up 2.26 percent year-over-year, as it recovers from a low point last November. Growth has slowed in 16 of the last 20 months in California, with Riverside and San Francisco contributing significantly in November, down 0.70 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively. Despite recent signs from other economic data that total job levels are stabilizing, Houston lost another 0.32 percent in November. At 96.14, Houston small business employment conditions are currently worse than the low point of the recession in September 2008.

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

Industry Employment Trend
November saw little change among industry results. Leisure and Hospitality increased by 0.20 percent and Construction declined 0.17 percent. Not only did Leisure and Hospitality have the best one-month growth rate in October, its index jumped to second place among industries in November, demonstrating continued strength. Construction's decrease marked its eighth in the last nine months. Previously ranked in first or second position among industries every month since November 2012, Construction fell to third in October and fourth in November. Essentially unchanged at 97.82, Manufacturing remains the lowest-ranked industry index and has been since March 2015.

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 November 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 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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