New data from CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) reported a month-over-month decrease in hiring of 2.45 percent in September, which follows the usual trend for this time of year. SBEI, which tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies that employ 300 or fewer employees across the U.S., noted that since its inception in 2009, the September reading has seen an average hiring decrease of 1.31 percent. This year’s reading is the second-largest decrease during the period.
“The September reading of the SBEI followed seasonal trends for this period,” said Philip Noftsinger, executive vice president of CBIZ Employee Benefits, in a press release. “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.”
The SBEI report also found that, compared to the August SBEI reading, 20 percent of companies increased their head counts, 48 percent did not make any labor changes and 32 percent decreased their workforce. During the month of September, the Northeast, Central and Southeast regions had hiring decreases of 4.09 percent, 2.61 percent and 2.33 percent, respectively, while the West experienced just 0.1 percent growth.
Of the industries included in the report, Arts and Entertainment, Real Estate, Nonprofits and Financial Services all posted negative readings for the month, while Educational Services saw a 3.37 percent increase.
As for the future, SBEI noted that with the economy expected to grow soon, the need for new talent will continue. Back in June, it was revealed that one of the biggest concerns for SMBs was finding qualified workers.
With that in mind, SBEI noted that “the quickest solution to create that increase would be to address lingering immigration issues, in order to bolster the total workforce count.”