Anxieties over future weakening sales have caused small businesses in the U.S. to slow their hiring practices in September, according to new figures from the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI), released Friday (Oct. 2).
CBIZ published the new data that resulted in a -1.09 percent drop of the small business employment barometer, continuing the trend of SME employment decline also seen in August.
According to CBIZ Payroll Services Business Unit President Philip Noftsinger, the decline appears as SMEs prepare for a quarter that normally brings growth to this segment of the market.
“Seasonally adjusted, September is historically a mildly positive growth month,” he said in a statement. “But, a slowing economy and constant negative headlines have small business owners reducing their hiring efforts in fear of a reduction in sales as we enter the all-important fourth quarter of the economic year.”
CBIZ found that nearly half (47 percent) of SMEs surveyed made no change in their employment totals in September. Overall, 29 percent of companies reduced their staff levels. Businesses in seasonal industries, like education, saw positive growth in their hiring practices, while the data revealed staff reductions across jobs within recreational sectors.
[bctt tweet=”Nearly half of SMEs surveyed made no change in their employment totals in September.”]
Reports said the data will encourage analysts to keep a close watch on the small business community as it heads towards the holiday shopping season, a period that traditionally leads to a spike in part-time employee hiring.
Regulators are also putting the pressure on SME performance. “Since the Fed took a pass on raising interest rates in September, small business owners will be on their toes in preparation for some potential changes to come this fall and winter,” CBIZ said in its announcement.
Shaky SME employment hiring performance follows earlier findings from the Small Business Optimism Index earlier this summer that found an improvement in small business owners’ level of optimism for the economy and their future performance.
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