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Small business hires fall in May, but employees got raises, Paycheck survey shows

  • Small business hiring fell in May, but wages continued to rise, Paychex says.
  • The Small Business Jobs Index now has its weakest three-month change since July 2009.
  • "Small business owners now seem to be taking a more wait-and-see approach to hiring," Paychex President and CEO Martin Mucci says.

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

The Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.16 percent from April to 100.34. The pace of small business employment growth is down 0.25 percent from a year ago. The index now has its weakest three-month change since July 2009, the company said.

"The increased pace of small business employment growth that we saw following the election of President Trump has slowed," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "Small business owners now seem to be taking a more wait-and-see approach to hiring. Despite that, wages continue to rise, which is certainly good news for workers."

Regional Performance

(Source: Paychex)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in early Maythat job creation in April bounced back from a disappointing March, and wages grew 7 cents an hour to an annualized pace of 2.5 percent.

Paychex said national hourly earnings for the month were an average $25.76, increasing 2.87 percent, or 72 cents, from last year.

Tennessee remains the top-ranked state in small-business job growth, the report said. Dallas remains the country's top metro area for small-business jobs, following a one-month decrease in Atlanta earlier in the year, 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.

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