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SME Employment Enters 2017 With Promise

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The latest data before the start of the new year on small business employment levels offers an optimistic take.

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index released Friday (Jan. 6) its most recent data for December, suggesting an upturn in SME employment numbers after November’s essentially neutral reading.

“This December’s reading seems to indicate that some of the economic optimism we’ve seen recently may be translating down to small business hiring,” reflected CBIZ Employee Services Organization President Philip Noftsinger. “For the most recent report, our SBEI tracked with NFIB’s optimism index post-election, which shows a significant improvement in optimism among small business owners, which is expected to translate into increased capital and labor investments in the new year.”

CBIZ research found 30 percent of companies in December increased staffing levels, while half said they made no change; 20 percent decreased staff levels.

Despite Noftsinger’s optimism, data from other small business employment analysts paints a different picture. ADP released its statistics this month for SME jobs and found growth slowed in December, missing analysts’ expectations. The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index, meanwhile, also released this month, found a reversal in recent months of small business hiring declines.

Still, the overall outlook for small businesses remains positive overall. The latest PYMNTS.com Store Front Index for Q4 of 2016 found boosted performance in SME growth across industries, recording an overall growth of 1.7 percent.

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