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.
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.