Market Overview

CBIZ Small Business Employment Index Demonstrates Seasonal September Trend


- Small business owners scale back hiring following a trend-defying
August increase -

Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), which tracks hiring trends among
thousands of companies that employ 300 or fewer employees across the
U.S., reported a month-over-month decrease in hiring of 2.45 percent in
September, following an increase in hiring of 2.29 percent in August.

"The September reading of the SBEI followed seasonal trends for this
period," says Philip
, Executive Vice President, CBIZ Employee Benefits. "This
report comes on the heels of a trend-defying August report, which
suggested that small business owners increased hiring in light of strong
economic momentum driving growth. However, September's volatile reading
could be pointing to an ever-tightening labor market, which at some
level will continue to push wages."

ADP and Moody's Analytics reported Wednesday that the private sector
posted an employment increase of 230,000 jobs month-over-month, on a
seasonally adjusted basis. Small businesses accounted for 56,000 of
those jobs and the report found that almost all sectors reported an

To view an infographic with data from the employment index, visit
the CBIZ blog.1

Additional takeaways from the September SBEI include:

  • September's snapshot: When compared to the August SBEI reading,
    20 percent of companies increased their headcounts, 48 percent
    refrained from making labor changes, and 32 percent decreased their
    employee totals. Since the SBEI's inception in June 2009, the
    September reading has seen an average hiring decrease of 1.31 percent;
    and this year's reading is the second-largest decrease during the
    September period.
  • Industries at a glance: Of the industries reflected in the
    index, all but one category recorded declines in hiring. Arts and
    Entertainment, Real Estate, Non-Profits, and Financial Services all
    posted notable negative readings this month while Educational Services
    posted a 3.37 percent increase.
  • Geographical hiring: In September, the Northeast, Central, and
    Southeast regions experienced hiring decreases of 4.09 percent, 2.61
    percent, and 2.33 percent, respectively. The West demonstrated a
    relatively flat reading of 0.1 percent growth.
  • What's next? Recent developments concerning trade deals for
    North America are likely to keep economic growth going for the
    foreseeable future. The need for labor will continue to grow and the
    United States will need to find a way to increase its legal employable
    workforce. The quickest solution to create that increase would be to
    address lingering immigration issues, in order to bolster the total
    workforce count.

CBIZ Payroll Services manages payroll services for more than 4,000
businesses. Its index reflects a broad array of industries and
geographies corresponding to the markets across the U.S. where CBIZ
provides human capital services. The data represented by the SBEI is
derived from a segment of employers not completely accounted for by the
ADP and federal Bureau of Labor Statistics employment reports.

Editor's note:

(1) The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on our work at

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About CBIZ, Inc.

CBIZ, Inc. provides professional business services that help clients
better manage their finances and employees. CBIZ provides its clients
with financial services including accounting, tax, financial advisory,
government health care consulting, risk advisory, real estate consulting
and valuation services. Employee services include employee benefits
consulting, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan consulting,
payroll, life insurance, HR consulting and executive recruitment. As one
of the largest accounting, insurance brokerage and valuation companies
in the United States, the company's services are provided through more
than 100 company offices in 33 states. CBIZ Employee Services
Organization is a division of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.

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