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U.S. small business employment increased 0.12 percent in calendar year 2012, with an increase of 0.09 percent in December. Small business revenue dropped 1.2 percent from January to November, with a 0.3 percent drop in November. Those are among the findings of Intuit Inc.’s (Nasdaq: INTU) inaugural 2012 Small Business Employment and Revenue Report.
The report also found that U.S. small businesses added 24,000 jobs between January and December. The hiring rate that fell steadily through the recession bottomed out in 2009, and has continued to hover at a monthly rate of approximately 5.5 percent. The change in hiring during 2012 was minimal, decreasing by 2 percent from January to December. The complete results, which include insights on employment levels by state and small business revenue growth, can be found at: 2012 Small Business Employment and Revenue Report.
“Small business employment is still growing, albeit very slowly. 2012 was a year of ups and downs, resulting in a final tally of 19.9 million small business jobs,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “However, the level of small business employment has yet to reach its pre-recession level of 21.2 million jobs in March 2007.”
December Employment Index
The December Small Business Employment Index shows an increase of 15,000 new jobs during the month at a rate of 0.09 percent, which equates to an annualized growth rate of 1.1 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average monthly compensation grew by 0.5 percent, or $13. Average monthly hours worked increased by 0.08 percent, or five minutes. The index is based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll, covering the period from Nov. 24 through Dec. 23.
December Increase in Hours Worked, Compensation
Small business hourly employees worked an average of 107.4 hours in December, up slightly from the revised figure of 107.3 hours in November, making for a 24.8-hour workweek.
Average monthly pay for small business employees rose to $2,702 in December, up 0.5 percent from the November revised figure of $2,689 per month. The equivalent annual wages would be about $32,400 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.
Small Business Employment by Geography
The Employment Index showed growth in all U.S. census divisions, except the Middle Atlantic, East North Central and New England census divisions, which saw declines. December marks the second month of employment declines in the East North Central and New England divisions. A breakdown of states tracked by the index showed the largest employment increases in South Carolina and Utah, while Michigan and Kansas both saw the largest decreases for the second consecutive month.
Small Business Employment results were mixed for the states in which Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business firms. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.
November Small Business Revenue Decline
The November Small Business Revenue Index showed a 0.3 percent overall decline from the previous month. The professional services and retail industries saw the biggest drop-offs, at 0.6 and 0.5 percent respectively. The health care sector followed with a 0.4 percent decline. The index is based on data from QuickBooks Online and covers the period from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30.
“This is the ninth consecutive month of revenue decline, but revenues are declining at a slower rate than they were earlier in the year,” said Woodward. “The real estate industry is performing the strongest, increasing 4.4 percent from a year ago and seeing the smallest decline among all industries tracked this November.”