May 22, 2024 5:44 pm
Small businesses experience less difficulty in hiring as the economy remains robust

Despite high interest rates, the U.S. economy remains strong and small businesses across the country are experiencing a positive development. The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.17% in February, indicating that hiring woes may be easing for small businesses nationwide.

Small businesses often struggle to retain workers due to their inability to offer higher salaries or additional benefits like health insurance. However, according to Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer of CBIZ, the U.S. economy has exhibited unexpected strength in the current high interest rate environment, enabling small businesses to steadily expand their workforce during the month of February.

In February, 20% of companies in the index increased their staff while 60% maintained their current headcounts. Additionally, 20% of companies decreased their staff numbers during the same period. This shows that small businesses are cautiously optimistic about hiring and expanding their operations despite the challenges they face with high interest rates.

Certain industries have seen better hiring results than others. Sectors such as administrative and support services, arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as technology and life sciences reported hiring gains while industries like accommodation and food services, insurance, and utilities experienced decreases. These trends reflect the diverse nature of small business operations across different regions and sectors in the United States.

Regionally, the West region saw a slight increase in employment growth while the Northeast region saw a slight decline in employment growth compared to other regions in February 2023

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