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Key Indicators of Small Business Employment Show Stability Amid Recent Surge in COVID-19 Cases Across the U.S.

The report by Paychex and IHS Markit shows slight moderations in national job growth, weekly hours worked, and percentage of annual wage growth

The latest Paychex |IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows that small business hiring remained largely consistent with the prior month, moderating slightly, down 0.03 percent nationally to 94.29. In November, hourly earnings growth stood at 2.76 percent, while weekly hours worked showed a decrease of 0.04 percent year over year.

“The Index has been essentially flat since August, showing no signs of immediate recovery,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

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“As the pandemic reaches yet another peak in the U.S., both employment and wage growth have remained relatively steady over the past quarter,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “Despite the recent surge, small businesses across the U.S. continue to show resiliency, validating other key metrics we monitor that have been showing similar trends.”

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The report also includes regional, state, metro, and industry level analysis, showing:

  • The South remains the top-ranked region for employment growth, a full one point above the next highest region.
  • The Northeast is the only region with weekly earnings growth above three percent.
  • Texas has climbed one spot in the rankings each month for the past quarter, now ranking first among states in job growth.
  • Construction leads all industries in job growth for the seventh consecutive month.
  • Leisure and Hospitality lags with the weakest index for the past eight months.

The complete results for November, including interactive charts detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at www.paychex.com/employment-watch. Highlights are available below. 

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