The Cbiz Small Business Employment Index declined by just 0.19% on a seasonally adjusted basis in February.
“Overall, small business hiring held steady in February as employers continue to grapple with labor shortages,” said Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer at Cbiz Investment Advisory Services. “Balancing healthy margins while also keeping employees fulfilled will be a challenge for many businesses going forward, as rising inflation leads consumers to become more cost-conscious.”
On the industry level, the most notable job gains were seen in insurance and mining. Conversely, hiring declined in agriculture, fishing and hunting, and wholesale distribution.
“The data suggests hiring is continuing to be approached with caution as small businesses face a tighter talent market and more frugal consumers leading into the warmer months.”
Regionally, the report found an increase in hiring in the Southeast and West at 0.74% and 0.56% respectively.
The Central region experienced the highest job losses in February, with a 0.67% decline in hiring. The next job losses were in the Northeast, where hiring declined by 0.35%.
The Cbiz Small Business Employment Index tracks payroll and hiring trends for more than 3,300 companies that have 300 or fewer employees.