Small Business Hiring Bump in September Falls Back to Flat
Wage Growth Hits a High for Payroll Company’s Monthly Index
RICHARD LAWSON (via CoStar Group)
A small bump in business hiring reported last month didn’t last.
In September, payroll company Paychex reported through the Paychex|IHS Markit Employment Watch index the biggest increase in three years. The latest report shows the index dipping a little to 98.14 from 98.22. This essentially extends a flat hiring trend started in July.
Anything below 100 means hiring is still growing. A rate slower than the benchmark year in 2004 that was considered normal growth. Paychex culls the data from about 350,000 clients that employ 50 or fewer people.
Other services, a catch-all category that includes such small businesses dry cleaners, nail salons and auto repair shops, remains at the top for hiring growth. This is just above 100. Education and health services is the “only sector to post a year-over-year increase, a modest 0.02 percent,” according to the report.
The slowing job growth reflects the challenges in hiring and retaining qualified workers. That has pushed up hourly wages and “weekly earnings gains reached a new series high, 3.36 percent,” James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement.
Real estate investors pay attention job growth numbers, particularly in specific cities. Greater Dallas held the top spot again, a position it’s had for months, and is the only metropolitan area above 100.
But its index rating has dropped 2% over the past quarter. Texas dropped significantly on the index in October, falling below 100 for the first time since January.
October’s drop left Tennessee as the only state above 100. Tennessee’s performance is largely driven by what’s happening in greater Nashville. Nashville isn’t split out for the metropolitan area ranking because it’s not one of the Top 20 regions in population in the country.