- The Paychex and IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch revealed a slight slowdown in small business job growth in October. Wage growth was also showing a small decline over the past month.
- The impact of this year’s hurricane season will likely continue to be felt by employers and job seekers in the affected areas. It’s estimated the devastation took with it 33,000 jobs — the first time that many jobs were lost since 2011. In the hospitality industry alone, 111,000 jobs were lost, offsetting any gains in other markets.
- Small business represents 95% of US employers. While the job index fell 0.5 points in October, wages rose 2.91% over the same time last year. This could be representative of competition for seasonal hires from major retailers and online sellers nationwide.
With wage increases nearing 3% and inflation hovering in the 2% range, job seekers are in a strong position. More good news for workers: the national hourly earnings rate increased 74 cents since October of last year.
The seasonal hiring push will likely bring wages up through the end of the year (several big box retailers have increased their wages this year), and new minimum wage laws that will go into effect around the country after the holiday season promise to rage hourly rates even further. Increasingly, hourly employers are turning to flexible work arrangements and remote work to better compete in a tough talent market.
Regionally, the South was the only area that saw improvement in October for small business employment growth; it has remained the top ranked region in the index for 18 consecutive months. Leisure, hospitality and construction are leading the market.