Friday, July 22, 2005

StartupJournal | Small Talk

StartupJournal | Small Talk: "Small-Firm Payrolls Show
Little Rise in Hiring

Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal.

From The Wall Street Journal Online

Small-business hiring has been slow and average wages have dropped about 2.26% during the first half of the year, according to data from SurePayroll Inc., a Skokie, Ill., payroll firm serving more than 15,000 companies nationwide.

Employment during the first six month has increased only about 0.3%, and has been flat for June compared with May.

If second-half hiring continues at a similar pace, according to SurePayroll, then employment growth for all of 2005 would be about 0.6%. In 2004, the small firms' data showed an increase in employment of about 4.4%, the strongest job creation for the businesses since 1999.

Small businesses currently are confronted with a number of concerns, according to SurePayroll's President Michael Alter, including terrorism issues, oil prices, health-care costs and competition from global outsourcing.

Although the survey's data show a small increase in employment nationwide during the first six months, the Northeast enjoyed the strongest, with a first-half increase of 4.1%. The weakest region was in the Midwest, with a small-business job decline of 2.0% in the survey.

Only the South showed a rise in wages for the first half of the year at 0.6%, while average pay in the West fell by 2.6%.

Although average pay has declined each month from January through May, it did increase in June. Last year, according to SurePayroll's data, average check size decreased by 4.8%."
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