In all, there was a 0.11 percent increase in small business hiring over the last three months, led by a 0.19 percent jump seen in February, according to the latest Small Business Jobs Index from Paychex and IHS. That followed a 0.09 percent uptick in January, after a 0.17 percent decline was observed in December. In general, this is seen as a fairly positive trend for the nation as a whole, as current levels are actually slightly above those prior to the economic downturn, and have been for some time now.
“Small businesses are off to a solid start in 2015 when it comes to job growth,” said Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex. “While it’s still early in the year, the first two months have seen consistent positive improvement.”
A closer look at the numbers
On a regional basis, the changes weren’t all positive, the report said. In fact, while most of the South and Midwest experienced gains well above the national average (with the Mid-South coming in up 0.89 percent, and a 0.76 percent jump in the Southeast being the biggest gains), the Northeast, and West struggled. The largest declines were observed in the Mountain States, where small business hiring plunged 1.56 percent. New England and the Tri-State area came in with declines of 0.99 percent and 0.92 percent, respectively.
In all, though, 15 states had index readings of above 100 percent, which is generally seen as the demarcation point between a robust jobs market and one that needs improvement, the report said. The largest of these was Indiana, where the index came in at 103.54. Texas and Washington weren’t far behind, at readings of 103.23 and 103.21, respectively.
Owners who want to make sure their companies are in a position to succeed going forward might want to consider the benefits of finding more affordable small business insurance coverage. This effort could help them find lower-cost policies like those for liability insurance, which can potentially free up thousands of dollars annually.