Sunday, March 07, 2010

SMBs are Hiring

Are SMBs Hiring

New data suggests the smallest businesses in the country are beginning to add new jobs and some experts say that's a great sign for bigger companies. This info comes despite a March 5th report from the Labor Department that suggests the United States is still losing jobs.

Intuit released some information on March 1st that suggests companies with less than 20 employees have been adding new jobs since June 2009. That's based on the 50,000 customers using their online payroll service. Also, after two years of decline, the average paycheck amount for someone working for a company of less than 100 employees is beginning to stabilize over the last three months, and in some cases, is increasing. This includes data from salary, hourly, and contract workers. That information came out on March 3rd from a company called SurePayroll.

The numbers look like this: since June, employment at small businesses as been growing at 1.1% annual rate. With that information, Intuit suggests 150,000 jobs have been created by companies with fewer than 20 employees since June. That includes 40,000 last month alone. Granted that's a long way from re-employing the 8.4 million who have lost jobs since December 2007, but it's still a start and it's left some people pretty hopeful.

Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration says this is a potentially good sign. He says that in 2002, recovery began when small businesses began hiring before larger companies did and in some cases when larger companies were still losing jobs. According to census data from 2006, companies of 20 or less employees make up 89% of all businesses and 18% of the private workforce.

Meanwhile, Congress is working on a number of different bills in an effort to put people back to work and one way they're trying to do that is tax incentives. Last week, the House passed a bill that gives employers who hire people who have been out of work for two months a year free from paying the Social Security payroll tax. John Bishop of Cornell University has proposed a hiring tax credit that he says could will encourage about two million jobs in the next year. But a lot small businesses don't wait on the government to pass bills before they hire and don't sit around, waiting for incentives.

For example, Michael McKean, the CEO of the Knowland Group in McLean, VA told Business Week he has already hired ten people this year and hopes to hire about six more. The company makes sales, marketing, and lead generation products to help hotels attract conferences and events. He says he believes the industry is due to pick up soon and knows he can increase his credit line

Official data from the Labor Department about hiring won't be available for several months, but if history is any indication, this data is good news. Companies with less than 500 employees have made up 64% of new jobs created between 1993 and 2008 and it looks like that trend will continue.

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