Additional take-away points from the February data set include:
- At-a-glance: The CBIZ Index focuses on hiring trends at small companies. The data shows that 24.7 percent of the companies surveyed increased payroll, while an additional 52.5 percent maintained headcount.
- Large verses Small: Small businesses are often cited as the “engine of our economy,” as they create the majority of employment opportunities in the country. Large companies, described as those with more than 500 employees, often lag their smaller counterparts (small businesses and entrepreneurs) in terms of the speed of growth and hiring. This trend is expected to continue as the small business owner is able to stay nimble in the face of economic headwinds.
- What to watch: While some might cheer any increase in hiring, and a gain against the high unemployment rate, additional layoffs at the federal level are likely coming in the months ahead as cost-cutting efforts are expected to begin in order to control the national deficit.
Noftsinger added, “At present, small business owners are hesitant to take large risks as they continue to gauge needs of their customers, monitor big business activity in their backyards and what is to come next in terms of tax and healthcare policies.”