Jobs at small businesses increased last month, with Washington State leading the way along with the Mountain region of the country, according to payroll provider Paychex and the research firm IHS.

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index grew 0.50 percent in the 12 months leading up to April, increasing to 101.26, a new peak level, reflecting improving employment conditions.  Washington had the greatest gains among the states measured, with help from Seattle, which showed the highest increase in growth rate among metro areas.

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