CBIZ said hiring trends among small businesses decreased in August after declining in July.

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index fell by 0.36 percent in August after dropping 0.90 percent in July. The index is based on CBIZ’s small business payroll customers.

Of the companies surveyed by CBIZ, the data showed that 26 percent reported a decrease in employee headcount while 23 percent increased staffing. Fifty-one percent of the companies involved in the survey maintained their number of employees.

However, nearly 28 percent of the small businesses surveyed by CBIZ said they are looking to deploy growth strategies in the coming year, focused primarily on marketing and e-commerce. More than 49 percent of the market survey respondents said they are looking to add workers in the next three months, but over 37 percent said they would maintain their current workforce levels. 

However, that may not be enough to keep pace with the growth of the labor pool, translating to either consistent unemployment levels or the potential for a mild improvement over the next quarter.

“Anecdotally, we are seeing continued confirmation that consumer demand and the overall economic attitude of consumers as the top reasons affecting growth among small businesses,” said CBIZ Payroll Services business unit president Philip Noftsinger, CPA.

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