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Economy in Brief

Intuit Indicates Small Business Hiring But Weak Earnings 
by Tom Moeller  January 30, 2012

Intuit compiles data covering small business employment and 2012 started with a weak gain. For January, its employment index rose 0.2% to 96.14.  The index has been rising for just over two years but this month's gain was the weakest since November 2010. Regardless, the index was up 4.1% y/y and built on its 3.3% increase in 2011 and 0.1% in 2010.

Intuit also surveys average monthly compensation and it has been fairly weak. A 0.1% January slip was the seventh in as many months. In addition, the 0.3% y/y gain was its weakest since the change became available in 2008. Also, small business hours worked have gone nowhere. A negligible January slip was the eighth month down in a row and they're off 0.4% y/y.

The Intuit Small Business Employment Index is based on anonymous online employment data from small business employers (each with fewer than 20 employees) that use Intuit Online Payroll. These smallest employers comprise about 88 percent of the total U.S. private employer base and employ nearly 20 million people. The Index reflects monthly employment activity in small businesses, and is adjusted to account for changes in Intuit's Online Payroll customers from one month to the next.

The Intuit figures are available in Haver's USECON database.

Intuit Small Business Employment Index Jan Dec Nov Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Employment Index (Jan. 2007 = 100) 96.14 95.91 95.63 4.1% 3.3% 0.1% -6.2%
Average Monthly Compensation ($) 2,632.14 2,634.63 2,637.62 0.3 1.4 1.0 1.0
Average Monthly Hours Worked Index 107.54 107.59 107.74 -0.4 1.7 2.3 -0.9
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