Small businesses generated 30,000 new jobs in October, according to Intuit, but the company found that employees are working fewer hours and earning less money.

The company’s monthly Small Business Employment Index, based on small businesses with fewer than 20 employees using Intuit Online Payroll, indicated that small business employment grew by 0.14 percent in October, equating to an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent. Hours worked and compensation both fell 0.2 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively.

Since the hiring trend began in October 2009, small businesses have created 660,000 new jobs. Based on these latest numbers and revised national employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Intuit revised downward the growth rate it previously reported for September to 0.19 percent from 0.3 percent, equating to 40,000 jobs added in September, down from a previously reported 65,000 jobs.

“While small business employment is up in October, it is not up by much,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the monthly index. “The softness of the small business labor market is not much of a surprise. The breath-holding in Europe over the timing and shape of the Greek bond default was likely weighing on economic decisions at firms of all sizes here, too, and delaying at least some purchase decisions. With the new European deal, there is now hope that this concern will be lifted.”

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 106.3 hours in October, making for a 24.5-hour workweek. This is a 0.2 percent decrease from the revised September figure of 106.6 hours.
Average monthly pay for all small business employees fell slightly to $2,622 in October. This represents a 0.06 percent decrease compared to the September revised estimate of $2,623 per month. The equivalent annual wages would be about $31,500 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.

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