While the manufacturing industry across the states seems to be picking up at a fast pace, the same cannot really be said for the small businesses of the United States. 87 percent of the country’s private employer base is composed of small businesses, or companies with 20 or less employees, and as the year presses on it seems as though wages and employment numbers are dropping slightly.
While the jobs reports from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics hasn’t been released yet, the payroll processor Intuit has released the results of its January survey. While the results of small business weren’t terrible, they weren’t too great either. According to their findings, small businesses added 50,000 jobs in January, a drop from the 60,000 added in December. Of course, a small drop is to be expected since a good portion of December jobs that were added were in part due to temporary work for the season.
On top of this small loss, the average monthly salary for employees working for small businesses fell as well, though only slightly. Compared to last month, it dropped .1 percent or $3 while the average work week of these workers also decreased .1 percent to 24.8 hours. Even though these statistics point to a decreasing market, experts say that the overall small business labor market is improving slowly. However, in order to get our job market back on track we will have to greatly improve these statistics.
Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create its employment index, was quoted saying, “Overall the small business labor market is not weak, but not strong either. Small business employment continues to rise but at a rate that will not get us back to full employment very quickly.” This isn’t the best of news for us since a full recovery is essentially what we have all been hoping for. However, we must remember that recovery will come slow and steady, and not all at once. Patience is what most job seekers and employees alike need to possess the most of as our country slowly climbs out of the hole it fell into nearly a decade ago.
In addition to slightly disheartening statistics, the Index showed that there is employment growth in nearly all census divisions, save New England. Those living on the East Coast aren’t faring as well as those in other geographical regions in the United States. This may be due in part to the heavy concentration of financial service businesses on the East Coast. As Spark News reported earlier, the financial services industry isn’t doing so well, particularly in New York City where technology jobs are overtaking office spaces that were previously used by financial services.