Small businesses posted a modest increase in hiring in April, according to figures from Intuit’s online payroll service.

The Intuit Small Business Employment Index increased 0.3 percent in April, equating to an annual growth rate of nearly 3.6 percent. This translates to approximately 60,000 new jobs for the month. The index is based on figures from the country's smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll.

The report showed employment was up in all nine U.S. Census divisions. In addition, Intuit found that employees worked more hours and earned more money.
In conjunction with the monthly index, Intuit has introduced PayTrends a free, online tool to help small business owners set competitive wages for their employees. By entering a job title and geographic location, employers can search PayTrends for the average hourly and annual wages for specific jobs by location.

"Small business employment is showing continued strength," said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the index. "Employment is up, hours worked are up, and total compensation per employee is up. Moreover, employment is up across the country. While we have a long way to go to full employment, we have seen continued improvement now for a year-and-a-half."

Based on this latest data, the employment growth rate for March was revised slightly up to 0.3 percent, equating to 65,000 jobs added for the month. Since the hiring trend began in October 2009, small businesses have created 845,000 jobs.

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 109.8 hours in April, making for a 25.3-hour work week. This is a 0.7 percent rise from the revised March figure of 109 hours.

"April registered the strongest increase in hours worked so far this year," Woodward said. "This is a good sign. The U.S. has 8.4 million part-time employees who would be happy to work more hours."

Average monthly pay for all small business employees was $2,653 per month in April. This is a 0.5 percent increase compared to the March revised estimate of $2,641 per month. This translates to wages of about $31,800 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.

"Compensation per employee rose in April, continuing a slight, upward trend that began about six months ago," said Woodward. "This upward trend is partly due to hourly employees working more hours while their hourly wages remain flat. So despite this slight rise in compensation, the small business labor market is still soft and employers have room to hire without pushing wages up."

The Intuit Index also breaks down employment by census divisions and states across the country.

"For the fourth month in a row, all nine U.S. divisions showed employment growth," said Nora Denzel, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's Employee Management Solutions division. "We also saw job growth in every state in which we have more than 1,000 Intuit Online Payroll customers. We've seen job growth from coast to coast throughout 2011."

 

U.S. Census Division

 

 

Percent Change in Employment

East North Central

 

 

0.2%

West North Central

 

 

0.4%

Middle Atlantic

 

 

0.2%

Mountain

 

 

1.2%

New England

 

 

0.3%

Pacific

 

 

0.3%

South Atlantic

 

 

0.3%

East South Central

 

 

0.1%

West South Central

 

 

0.3%

 

Small Business Employment by U.S. Census Division grew again in every division. The data reflects employment from approximately 65,000 small business employers who use Intuit Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally-adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

 

 

 

 

 

State

 

Percent Change in Employment

Arizona

 

0.5%

California

 

0.3%

Florida

 

0.5%

Georgia

 

0.2%

Illinois

 

0.3%

Maryland

 

0.2%

Massachusetts

 

0.1%

New Jersey

 

0.4%

New York

 

0.3%

North Carolina

 

0.3%

Texas

 

0.2%

Virginia

 

0.3%

Washington

 

0.1%

 

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