Small business job growth slowed in 2017, even as wages increased
- The small business job index published by Paychex and IHS Markit declined 0.16% in December compared to November, and the index finished the year down 0.78% from 2016.
- However, hourly wages for small business workers rose to $26.14 in December, an increase of 2.76% compared to the same time last year. Hourly wages also grew at an average of 2.85% in 2017.
- Small businesses in the leisure and hospitality industry witnessed their eighth decrease in number of jobs over the past nine months, the report showed, with a growth drop of 2.73% since March. Manufacturing job growth jumped 1.61%, while most other industry sectors slowed slightly or remained unchanged, for the year.
By industry, growth in manufacturing for small business is on the rise as employers push for skilled manufacturing workers. Weekly earnings also continue to grow in construction, partly due (in some regions) to the surge in labor needed in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane season.
As the seasonal hiring pool begins to shrink, it’s possible observers may see even smaller numbers in job growth in the coming months, along with lower wages, as the holiday season wanes. In leisure and hospitality, continued decreases in growth could be the result of many companies turning to automation instead — some due to labor costs and others in response to a shrinking applicant pool.