Small-business hiring showed a slowdown for the sixth consecutive month in August but hourly earnings continue to gain momentum, a report from human resources firm Paychex said Tuesday.
The Small Business Jobs Index declined 0.02 percent from last month and 0.74 percent from a year earlier. Small-business wages continue to rise, reaching a 3 percent, or 76 cents, annual growth rate in August and a 3.27 percent three-month annualized growth rate, Paychex said.
“There was little change in August, signifying the index’s dip below 100 in July was not a fluke,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “Earnings continued to accelerate, with the growth rate now up 3.00 percent from a year ago.”
Paychex said national hourly earnings in August were $25.98, a 7-cent increase from July.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that nonfarm payrolls grew more than expected, but the closely watched wage number was unchanged from previous months.
Tennessee remains the top-ranked state for small-business job growth, the report said, while Arizona ranks first in annual hourly earnings growth. Dallas widened its lead as the country’s top metro area for small-business jobs, Paychex said.
The Paychex report comes three days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its closely watched employment data for August.