Small business employment is enjoying slow but steady growth, according the latest Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index.
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The index increased 0.5% in April, compared to a year ago, for a reading of 101.26 – a new peak level, according to the payroll processor Paychex and IHS, an analytics firm.
“It’s the highest point since tracking began really in 2004,” says Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex. “We’re feeling good about the increase and the level of growth. We think it continues to advance at a slow and steady pace for small businesses across the U.S.”
The pace of job growth, however, is uneven across the United States, according to the barometer. The Mountain region reported the highest 12-month growth rate in April, and Mucci says cities driven by technology companies, like San Francisco and Seattle, are also seeing impressive growth in small business jobs.
Speaking generally, IHS Chief Regional Economist James Diffley says the conditions look good for small businesses moving forward.
“The thing we don’t have hanging over our heads is possible budget deficit trauma from Washington, I think the removal of that has helped a lot,” says Diffley.
The Paychex/IHS Index uses same-store year-over-year worker count changes from small businesses among the Paychex client base, which the company says is approximately 350,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.