Monthly Growth Rates for Small Business Employment and Wages Decline Slightly in November

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The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows a modest decline in both small business job and wage growth for November. The Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.03% for the month, 0.10 for the quarter, and 0.52% for the year to 99.86. The national index has now been below 100 for five consecutive months. Monthly small business wage growth has slowed since reaching a high of nearly 3% in August. Hourly earnings in November stand at $26.09, a gain of 2.77% ($0.70) year-over year.

“Though the monthly declines this year have been small, they have been persistent,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “At 99.86, the Small Business Jobs Index indicates employment growth, though steady, is now at the slowest pace since 2011.”

“Although we have seen slight monthly declines in employment growth, the rate of job growth, while still positive, has generally leveled off over the last quarter,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “It is encouraging to see that hours worked in Florida are back on the rise after recent monthly slowdowns following the hurricanes.”

National Jobs Index

  • November marks the ninth consecutive decline and fifth consecutive month below 100 for the national index.
  • Down 0.10% for the quarter and 0.52% for the year, the recent decline in the national index has been slow and steady.

National Wage Report

  • After nearly reaching 3% in July, hourly earnings growth slowed again to 2.77% in November.
  • With hours worked trending positively, the weekly earnings growth rate continues to climb, reaching 3.24% in November.

Regional Jobs Index

  • Despite slowing 0.55% from a year ago, the South is showing solid small business employment growth and is the only region with an index level above 100 (100.54).
  • Spurred by both New England and Middle Atlantic states, the Northeast surged 0.32% to move into second place among regions for the first time in 2017.

Regional Wage Report 

  • The West region continues to lead wage gains by a significant margin, up 3.45% for hourly earnings and 3.86% for weekly earnings.
  • The moderation of growth rates is pronounced in the Midwest. The region shows the weakest gains in both hours worked and hourly earnings.

State Jobs Index

  • Washington and Georgia, with the best one-month and three-month growth rates among states, rose to second and third, respectively, behind Tennessee in November.
  • At 98.09, Missouri remained in last place among states with the weakest one-month and 12-month growth rates.

State Wage Report

  • Seven of the top 20 states have hourly earnings growth above 3%, with Arizona leading and nearing 5%.
  • Ranked last in October, hourly earnings growth in Ohio declined further in November to 1.32%.
  • Led by increases in Construction and Manufacturing, hours worked in Florida rebounded significantly in November following sizable declines in recent months due to Hurricane Irma.

Metropolitan Jobs Index 

  • Up 1.29% in November, Seattle surged to the top of the metro rankings for the first time in 2017, having spent nine months ranked first in 2016.
  • Boston spiked 0.68% in November, its best one-month result in more than four years. The increase brought its index to 100.45, seventh place among metros.

Metropolitan Wage Report

  • Southwest metros – Phoenix, San Diego, and Riverside – led hourly earnings growth with rates well above 4%.
  • Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia trailed in hourly earnings growth, posting less than2% annual gains.

Industry Jobs Index

  • Sliding to 99.40, Leisure and Hospitality fell 0.42% in November and 1.42% from last year, both the weakest growth rates among industry sectors.
  • Manufacturing had its strongest monthly gain in more than six years, 0.54%, adding to the sector’s solid 2017 improvement.

Industry Wage Report 

  • Construction has seen strong acceleration in both weekly and hourly earnings growth, both climbing since March.
  • At 3.87%, hourly earnings growth fell below 4% in the Leisure and Hospitality industry for the first time since 2015.

About the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch is released each month by Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses, and IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics, and expertise. Focused exclusively on small business, the monthly report offers analysis of national employment and wage trends, as well as examines regional, state, metro, and industry sector activity. Drawing from the payroll data of approximately 350,000 Paychex clients, this powerful tool delivers real-time insights into the small business trends driving the U.S. economy.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2017 across more than 100 locations and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About IHS Markit

IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and expertise for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85% of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.


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