The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index, a barometer for hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, increased by 0.05 percent during April, following an increase of 1.66 percent in March.

The uptick reflects the prognosis for sluggish growth in employment and follows a disappointing report on private sector job growth from ADP. ADP's April jobs survey found that the private sector added 119,000 jobs last month, which was below estimates (see ADP Finds Private Sector Added 119,000 Jobs in April). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 115,000 jobs (see Employers Added 115,000 Jobs in April).

“The April CBIZ SBEI shows no material gain in employment,” said CBIZ Payroll Services business unit president Philip Noftsinger in a statement. “However, the data did show an increase of .05 percent for companies processing payrolls in both March and April 2012. As we look across the economy overall, this result is consistent with other metrics we are following.”

Of the companies surveyed, CBIZ’s own payroll data shows that 22 percent reported an increase in employee headcount, while 25 percent decreased staffing. 53 percent of the companies involved in the survey maintained their number of employees.

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