Small business hiring: slow, steady

By Catherine Clifford, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Small businesses continue to add jobs, but the pace of hiring seems to be flattening.

Five months ago, the sector started picking up, adding over 100,000 jobs in December and January, according to data compiled by ADP, a payroll processor.

In April, however, the hiring growth started losing a bit of steam.

During that month, businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 84,000 jobs, down slightly from the 100,000 jobs added in March, according to ADP, which released its most recent report on Wednesday.

The positive hiring numbers suggest the sector is strengthening slowly after getting hard hit during the recession.

Small businesses shed more than 2.7 million jobs between April of 2008 and Feb. 2010, according to ADP data. But they have only added back 788,000 since March of 2010.

Meanwhile, the nation's smallest businesses are adding jobs in a similar manner.

Firms with fewer than 20 employees added 60,000 new jobs in April, down from 70,000 in January, but up from the 50,000 in February and March, according to data from Intuit, the creator of popular tax software program TurboTax.

"While we have a long way to go to full employment, we have seen continued improvement now for a year-and-a-half," said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index, in a written statement.

Small business employment trends are especially critical for the national labor market because small businesses make up the lion's share of job generation in the country.

The government's monthly job report -- due out Friday -- is expected to show that the unemployment rate held at 8.8%, according to a survey of economists conducted by CNNMoney. The unemployment rate shed a full percentage point between December and March. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Questions & Answers



QHow does a florist sell more in this economy? We changed our business to designing weddings and events only, as the everyday flowers are not selling. We had to throw out too much product at the end of the week -- flowers are perishable! More
Get Answer
- The Flower Lady, Suwanee, Ga.
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.84%3.80%
15 yr fixed3.06%3.03%
5/1 ARM3.14%3.15%
30 yr refi3.91%3.86%
15 yr refi3.16%3.08%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Sponsors

Sections

Under pressure from the New York Attorney General, GNC will take steps to ensure that the ingredients in herbal supplements match what's on the label. More

Ben Bernanke, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, launched his blog Monday, choosing an interesting time to opine about monetary policy. More

CNNMoney puts the Samsung Chromebook 2 and the HP Stream head-to-head to see which low cost laptop is the better buy. More