Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees created 15,000 jobs in December, according to Intuit, a 0.99 percent increase over November.

The data is based on approximately 173,000 small businesses customers of Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

Intuit’s 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. The largest employment increases occurred in South Carolina and Utah, while Michigan and Kansas both saw the largest decreases for the second consecutive month.

“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.”

Small business revenues are gradually recovering from recessionary depths, but are just now reaching levels seen before the recession began in 2007, according to Intuit’s Small Business Revenue Index, based on anonymized aggregated data from QuickBooks Online. The revenue index indicates that small businesses overall saw revenue decline in November.

Among the industries tracked by the Index, none saw an increase in December. Professional, scientific and technical services saw the biggest decline, at 0.6 percent, followed by retail trade with a 0.5 percent decline.

Average monthly pay for small business employees increased to $2,702 in December, or 0.5 percent and monthly hours worked increased 0.08 percent in December, corresponding to 107.4 hours.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average monthly compensation grew by 0.5 percent in December, or $13. Average monthly hours worked increased by 0.08 percent, or five minutes.  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.