SME employment growth continued in February, but both employment and wage growth slowed from January, according to a new report.
of reportPayroll provider Paychex announced on Tuesday that it found the pace of small business employment growth improved by 0.10% in February, after improving by 0.18% in January. However, Paychex’s national employment index (99.66) is down 1.64% from the record level (101.33) set in February last year. His hourly earnings growth slowed further in February to 4.49%, as month-to-month annualized growth fell below 4% for his third straight month. However, thanks to the positive momentum in weekly hours worked, weekly earnings growth in February reached a new record level (5.09%) since reporting began in 2011.
said Frank Fiorille, VP of Risk Management, Compliance and Data Analytics at Paychex. “Markets are loose. Part of the headwind to the index is supply, with small businesses struggling to find, attract and retain employees. , that’s the last few months.”
Wage growth has also slowed since last year, with companies asking their workers to work more hours. Leisure and hospitality sector grew the most. Construction lagged behind only leisure and hospitality in growth in hourly wages (5.11%), weekly wages (5.98%) and hours worked per week (0.69%).
The Midwest has the highest monthly rate of change over the past three months. Led by Illinois, the Midwest rose 0.77% last quarter. North Carolina also gained him 0.37% in February. Houston led the metropolitan area in small business employment growth in February. The next strongest metropolitan areas are Chicago, Atlanta, and Phoenix, all trailing Houston by more than 1.5 percentage points.
“Houston has been really strong this month,” Fioreille said. “It was really by far the best performer.”
Small businesses and their accountants are watching the Federal Reserve’s tax season and rate hike decisions. “This is obviously one of the biggest risks he’s probably watching very closely by every small business owner and corporate CEO,” she said.