Employment at small businesses in the U.S. stayed stagnant in February, while the average number of hours worked and monthly wages both increased. However, overall, small business revenue declined 0.09 percent in January.
Intuit’s monthly Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes also found that small businesses have added more than 570,000 jobs since March 2010. Employees’ average monthly compensation grew 0.5 percent in February, an increase of $15 from January’s revised figure. Average monthly hours worked by hourly employees increased 0.5 percent in February, an increase of approximately 30 minutes from January’s revised figure.
The employment index is based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll , covering the period from Jan. 24 through Feb. 23.
“By region, the Midwest and the East Coast saw the most employment declines, possibly due to the extreme winter,” said Susan Woodward , the economist who works with Intuit to create the indexes. “While the changes in employment are mixed across states overall, total compensation and hours worked were up in all states except Idaho, a major skiing state which is suffering from a snowless winter, and New Jersey, whose changes were small.”
Hourly small business employees worked an average of 108.5 hours in February, a 30-minute increase from January’s figure of 108 hours, making for a 25-hour work week.
Average monthly pay for small business employees also increased a significant amount, rising $15 to $2,739 in February. The equivalent yearly wages would be about $32,900. This total includes wages that small business owners pay to themselves.
Small business employment increased in 11 of the 38 states tracked by Intuit’s Small Business Employment Index. For the second consecutive month, Kentucky saw the largest employment increase, at 0.4 percent. Twenty-one states showed employment declines, while six remained flat. Missouri and Idaho recorded the largest declines, at 0.2 percent each.
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.
The January Revenue Index showed overall small business revenue decreased 0.09 percent on a per-business basis. Half of the industries registered gains, while the other half reported declines. The biggest gains occurred in the construction and “other industries” sectors, the latter of which includes non-professional services such as auto repair and gardening services. This index is based on data from QuickBooks Online , covering the period from Jan. 1-31.
The real estate services industry showed the largest decline at 0.5 percent, followed by the accommodation and food services sector, which dropped 0.2 percent.
“The drop in real estate services revenue reflects the decline in home sales, while the drop in revenues for the accommodation and food services sector results from the difficult winter,” said Woodward.