Small-Business Employment Rises in March

The data shows that 28 percent reported an increase in employee head count while 18 percent decreased staffing.

The CBIZ Small-Business Employment Index (SBEI), a barometer for hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, increased by 1.66 percent during March, following an increase of 0.25 percent in February
The announcement follows payroll services firm ADP€™s March jobs survey, which illustrated that the private sector added 209,000 jobs last month. The sample reflects an array of industries and regions corresponding to the markets across the United States, where CBIZ provides services.

Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services, noted this is the highest month-over-month gain since June 2010, and represents a growing trend across the marketplace that employment is healing at all levels. €œIn addition, the number of firms adding workers, versus no change or reductions was solid as well, demonstrating a broader-based increase,€ he said. €œWe now have a solid trend in employment going into the spring.€

Of the companies surveyed, the data shows that 28 percent reported an increase in employee head count while 18 percent decreased staffing. Fifty-four percent of the companies involved in the survey maintained their number of employees. Sustained gains will be important for future growth, the report noted, projecting hiring trends in April and May to continue the present trend within the SBEI. Consumer confidence, raising gas prices and this summer€™s seasonal business activity will continue to play a direct role on the recovery, CBIZ noted.

€œWhile our March report shows a 1.66 percent growth in small-business employment, continued increases in the prices of fuel could lead to more guarded hiring, as costs to employers increase,€ Noftsinger said. €œWe will watch closely to determine if the growth is sustainable, given future cost pressures on small business seem likely.€

Meanwhile spending on information technology by the 8 million small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the United States will account for approximately one-quarter of overall global SMB IT spending and more than 10 percent of all IT spending worldwide in 2012, according to a recent report from IT research firm IDC. The small-business segment will spend nearly twice as much as the midsize segment€”and more than the entire large enterprise segment€”on PCs and peripherals in 2012.

Although U.S. SMB IT spending has more than made up the ground lost during the especially weak years of 2008 and 2009, and is expected to exceed $138 billion in 2012, future investment and spending growth will not be uniform across technology categories. More than one-quarter of total SMB IT spending in 2012 will be allocated to IT services, totaling more than $38 billion.