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Small-Business Employment Continues Slow Growth

March 4, 2013

stressed small business owner  

U.S. small business employment increased slightly in February, with
employees earning more money and working more hours. Small business
revenues continue to drop, with the retail industry seeing the largest

Those are among the findings of the monthly Intuit
Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) Small
Business Employment and Revenue Indexes. The report found that:

Employment increased by 0.07 percent in February, adding 15,000 new
jobs at an annualized growth rate of 0.8 percent.

Average monthly compensation grew by 0.4 percent in February on a
seasonally adjusted basis, or $12, compared to the $6 decrease
reported in January.

Average monthly hours worked increased by 0.17 percent, or 12 minutes,
compared to the decrease of almost one hour reported in January.

The employment index is based on data from Intuit
Online Payroll and QuickBooks
Online Payroll, covering the period
from Jan. 24 through Feb. 23.

"Small business employment has risen by 75,000 jobs from this same time
last year," said Susan
Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the
indexes. "However, if small business employment were growing at its
usual proportionate rate of 15 percent of national employment, that
number would be 300,000 -- a 400 percent difference.

"The housing bust that was at the center of the economic collapse hurt
small business much more than it did big business. In non-recession
times, construction industry jobs make up about five percent of all
employment, but it comprises nearly 20 percent of jobs in the small
business and self-employed segment. Single-family home construction,
which was at 2 million houses per year in 2006, is now below 900,000 per
year. Until construction truly recovers, we will not see robust recovery
in small business employment."

Increase in Hours Worked, Compensation

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 109.4 hours in
February, up slightly from the revised figure of 109.2 hours in January,
making for a 25.3-hour workweek.

Average monthly pay for small business employees increased to $2,745 in
January, up 0.4 percent from the January revised figure of $2,733 per
month. The equivalent annual wages would be about $32,900 per year,
which is part-time work for almost half of small business employees.

Small Business Employment by Geography

A state-by-state breakdown of employment growth showed mixed results in
February. Among the 34 states tracked by Intuit's Small Business
Employment Index, employment increased in 13, remained flat in three and
declined in 18. Continuing a trend seen in January's findings, Utah and
Nevada saw the largest increases. Alabama, Indiana and Kentucky showed
the greatest declines.

Source: Copyright Business Wire 2013

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