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Small businesses hired fewer workers in April but gave their employees raises, Paychex survey shows

  • The Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.22 percent to 100.50.
  • National hourly earnings for the month were $25.67, increasing 2.73 percent, Paychex reports.
  • Paychex says Tennessee remains the top-ranked state.

Small business hiring fell in April, but wages continued to rise for workers, a report by human resources firm Paychex said Tuesday.

The Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.22 percent from the previous month to 100.50. The pace of small business employment growth is down 0.27 percent from a year ago, the company said.

"The decline in the April index mirrors what was reported last month by (the Bureau of Labor Statistics), which showed deceleration of job growth," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "At the same time, the wage report shows continued growth in both hourly earnings and hours worked over the past year."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that nonfarm payrolls grew less than expected, but average hourly earnings were up by 2.7 percent on an annualized basis.

Paychex said national hourly earnings for the month were $25.67, increasing 2.73 percent, or 68 cents, from last year. Weekly earnings were up 2.92 percent from last year.

Tennessee remains the top-ranked state in small business job growth, the report said. Dallas remains the country's new top metro area for small business jobs, following a 1.45 percent one-month decrease in Atlanta last month, which had held the top position.

Earlier this year, Mucci attributed the growth to President Donald Trump's pro-business agenda, including tax reform, regulation rollback and the potential for health care reform.

Mucci said the human resources firm is seeing part-time jobs on the rise as small businesses are a little bit more cautious.

"What we're finding now is increased uncertainty," Mucci said on "Squawk Box." "We did a survey of Trump's 100 days and saw that uncertainty is up still pretty good right now."

The Paychex report comes three days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its closely watched employment data for April.