The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.17% in February, indicating that employment woes may ease small businesses. Despite the challenges of high interest rates, the US economy remains strong. Small businesses often struggle to retain workers due to their inability to offer higher wages or benefits like health insurance.

Small businesses have shown unexpected strength in expanding their workforce, according to Anna Rathbun, CBIZ’s chief investment officer. In February, 20% of companies in the index hired more employees, while 60% kept the number of employees, and 20% fired. Certain industries saw gains in employment, such as administrative and support services, arts, entertainment and recreation, and technology and life sciences. On the other hand, the decline was recorded in industries such as accommodation and food services, insurance and utilities.

Regionally, the West, Southeast and Central regions saw a slight increase in employment, while the Northeast region experienced a slight decline. This small business trend mirrors the broader U.S. market where employers added 275,000 jobs in February, beating expectations

By Samantha Johnson

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