CBIZ said it found an uptick in small business employment in November, with its CBIZ Small Business Employment Index increasing 0.82 percent after a decrease of 0.89 percent in October.

“Continuing a near zero change, this month’s Small Business Employment Index further verifies that small businesses are still holding back hiring, despite some brighter news economically,” said CBIZ Payroll Services business unit president Philip Noftsinger in a statement.

In contrast, SurePayroll saw a decline in small business hiring among its payroll customers, while ADP and Intuit saw an increase (see SurePayroll Finds Decline in Small Business Employment, ADP Sees Private Sector Adding 118,000 Jobs in November and Intuit Finds Small Business Employment Increase in November). The official government statistics released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics saw job gains generally in November (see Unemployment Rate Fell to 7.7 Percent in November).

Of the companies surveyed by CBIZ, 26 percent increased staffing while 20 percent of the companies decreased their employee headcount. Fifty-four percent of the companies surveyed maintained their number of employees.

However, CBIZ sees problems ahead for small businesses with the current uncertainty over the fiscal cliff and tax increases. Even a settlement to the current budget stalemate would likely mean increases in taxes, the firm pointed out, as well as slower government spending.  This would further delay growth within the small business sector and beyond.  With the 2012 presidential election decided, CBIZ also warned that small businesses should prepare for full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“The continual struggle in Washington, D.C., between the House and the President provides little hope of predictability in terms of the 2013 business environment,” said Noftsinger.