Employment at small businesses with fewer than 20 employees increased 0.04 percent in September, as small businesses added 10,000 new jobs, according to figures from Intuit.

The data is based on approximately 245,000 small business customers of Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll, covering the period from August 24 through September 23.

The September Indexes also indicated that hourly small business employees saw a decrease in monthly compensation by 0.1 percent with average monthly pay reaching the equivalent of $2,753, down $3 from August.

Average monthly hours worked by hourly employees decreased by 0.4 percent in September, equivalent to 108.3 hours, down approximately 24 minutes from August’s revised figure.

“Small business coped with additional demand in August by having its existing work force work more,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who works with Intuit to create the Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes. “In September, small businesses hired additional people and paid them more, but asked them to work less. In sum, this makes for two months of mild gains in the small business labor market. Small business added 10,000 jobs this month after a flat previous month. We are continuing to see signs of a warming labor market.\

“Despite last month’s flat employment for small business, there are other signs of further employment recovery,” Woodward added. “Hours worked were up sharply in August, but down in September; compensation was up in August due to more hours being worked, while the hourly wage remained flat. That gain was only partially lost this month, and the percent of workers working full-time was sharply up last month and reversed this month.  In both months the hiring rate was up.”

Geographically, all states tracked individually by the Intuit saw hours worked decline, with the exception of Nebraska. The northern prairie states, around the Great Lakes, and those in New England saw employment declines, with Michigan and Idaho seeing the biggest declines. Utah had the biggest gain.


The August Intuit Small Business Revenue Index also showed significant growth in revenue, with revenues per small business growing 0.3 percent in August, or roughly 3.1 percent on an annual basis. The real estate rental and leasing industry showed the largest increase of 0.7 percent, reflecting an increase in home sales, while the accommodation and food services industry saw the largest decrease of 0.02 percent.

The Revenue Index is based on anonymized aggregated data from over 150,000 QuickBooks Online small businesses, and is the first in the market to provide current information on monthly per business small business revenue.

“The two industries that had the biggest expansion in revenues per business recently are the two that experienced the biggest hit during the recession: real estate services and construction,” Woodward said in a statement. “Real estate services revenues rose 0.7 percent in August; this is an annual rate of 8.2 percent.  These figures are seasonally adjusted, so this is not just late-summer home buying.”


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