CBIZ has seen a slight decrease in hiring trends among small businesses using its payroll software.

The CBIX Small Business Employment Index decreased by 0.90 percent in July among companies with 300 or fewer employees. CBIZ had spotted an increase in the index in June of 0.67 percent.

Among the companies surveyed, 25 percent reported a decrease in employee headcount while 25 percent increased staffing. Fifty percent of the companies surveyed maintained their number of employees.

“It comes as no surprise that employment levels in the small business sector show a reduction for the month of July,” said CBIZ Payroll Services business unit president Philip Noftsinger in a statement. “There is a lot of negativity in the marketplace right now, from the debate over the nation’s debt limit to the recent GDP numbers for the previous two quarters. Because of this negative information, there are many small business leaders that are resisting the need to replace regular attrition as they wait to see if a recession is imminent.”

Historically, the small business sector tends to thrive during periods of long-term economic growth. But with ongoing negativity and uncertainty in the marketplace and no clear signs ahead for the economy, a major improvement over the short-term is unlikely, CBIZ noted.

“I believe we will continue to see fluctuating employment numbers until the small business owner can gain more clarity as to what the next six to 12 months will look like from an economic, regulatory and tax perspective,” Noftsinger added.

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