2011 has started as a mixed bag for the small business economy. January ushered in the fourth consecutive month of flat or shrinking hiring numbers. The average paycheck size, however, continued to grow. While the year-to-date hiring decrease of -0.5 percent indicates a lack of economic growth, small business hiring is up compared to January 2010. The year-to-date paycheck size increase of +0.5 percent suggests while employers aren’t actively hiring, business is picking up and hourly employees are working more shifts.

 

January's Hiring Index and Optimism Meter

Year To Date Changes in Small Business Size and Average Paycheck for Select States as of January 31, 2011

 

January 2011 National Small Business Trends

Due to the start of a new year, month-over-month and year-to-date small business hiring decreased by -0.5 percent while the paycheck size increased by +0.5% in January.
The Hiring Index is a proxy for the size of the average small business workforce, including employees and contractors. Its dip of 66 points this month illustrates the fragility of the small business economy. The average small business paycheck size, however, rose.

SurePayroll Hiring Index SurePayroll Pay Index
January ’11 12,054 960
December ’10 12,120 955
November ’10 12,155 949
October ’10 12,170 949
September ’10 12,160 948
August ’10 12,157 939
July ’10 12,138 939
June ’10 12,118 939
May ’10 12,092 945
April ’10 12,061 946
March ’10 12,030 947
February ’10 11,880 944
January ’10 11,754 944

 

January 2011 Regional Small Business Trends

January’s regional results reflect the nation’s struggling economy. All regions experienced a drop in hiring numbers but an increase in the average paycheck size.

Midwest Results

SurePayroll Hiring Index SurePayroll Pay Index
January ’11 11,550 952
December ’10 11,627 948
November ’10 11,685 946
October ’10 11,700 947
September ’10 11,703 946
August ’10 11,689 947
July ’10 11,700 946
June ’10 11,701 944
May ’10 11,681 950
April ’10 11,639 952
March ’10 11,583 951
February ’10 11,428 951
January ’10 11,302 950

Northeast Results

SurePayroll Hiring Index SurePayroll Pay Index
January ’11 12,377 970
December ’10 12,434 965
November ’10 12,486 955
October ’10 12,516 954
September ’10 12,511 953
August ’10 12,475 955
July ’10 12,448 957
June ’10 12,414 958
May ’10 12,393 962
April ’10 12,375 961
March ’10 12,360 962
February ’10 12,249 959
January ’10 12,187 959

South Results

SurePayroll Hiring Index SurePayroll Pay Index
January ’11 12,017 954
December ’10 12,032 950
November ’10 12,028 944
October ’10 12,004 944
September ’10 11,962 943
August ’10 11,911 944
July ’10 11,880 944
June ’10 11,858 944
May ’10 11,823 948
April ’10 11,782 951
March ’10 11,750 952
February ’10 11,617 949
January ’10 11,493 948

West Results

SurePayroll Hiring Index SurePayroll Pay Index
January ’11 11,334 1,148
December ’10 11,464 1,139
November ’10 11,563 1,137
October ’10 11,614 1,138
September ’10 11,633 1,137
August ’10 11,612 1,136
July ’10 11,599 1,134
June ’10 11,585 1,131
May ’10 11,572 1,135
April ’10 11,565 1,132
March ’10 11,553 1,127
February ’10 11,383 1,120
January ’10 11,241 1,116

 

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