Payroll processor Paychex and the research firm HIS reported an increase in small business employment in July, with states like Washington and Michigan leading the way.

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index increased 0.34 percent in the 12 months leading up through July. The national index increased to 101.11, inching closer to the record high of 101.26 it reached in April of this year. Among the regions, the West North Central jumped to the top of the regional index with the highest monthly increase, thanks to economic growth in North Dakota.

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