Hiring rebounded at small businesses in October after a one-month pause due to the hurricanes in the South.
Small companies added 79,000 jobs after losing a revised 16,000 in September, according to payroll provider ADP, whose report is based on hiring at its customers with up to 49 employees. Last month's total was ahead of the nearly 69,000 jobs that small businesses averaged each month from January through August.
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The report was in line with ADP's tally of jobs at all its business customers — they added a solid 235,000 staffers.
Small business hiring has fluctuated in recent years, and hasn't fully recovered to its pre-recession levels. Many owners who aren't hiring have found ways to automate work or are using freelancers instead of full-time workers. Freelancers are not included in many employment reports.
Owners have said they won't hire until their revenue justifies the added expense of a larger payroll. In a small business survey last quarter conducted by researchers at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp., owners said they expect slower annual revenue growth in the coming months — a 9.3 percent gain versus 10.6 percent expectations in both the first and second quarters.