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Economy in Brief

Intuit Small Business Hiring Index Continues To Improve
by Tom Moeller  January 31, 2011

Intuit compiles data covering small business employment and the figures indicate that jobs have been improving with the economic recovery. The 0.3% m/m gain in the January Employment Index added to 0.4% increases during each of the prior five months. The gains brought the index up 4.5% from last January after a 1.9% increase for all of last year. The index fell 4.9% and 1.8% during all of 2009 and 2008, respectively.

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.

In addition, Intuit surveys average monthly compensation, up 1.1% y/y. Finally, their figures on overall monthly hours worked, up 4.4% y/y, showed a larger improvement from 1.3% last year due to longer hours.

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

Intuit Small Business Employment Jan Dec Nov Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Employment Index(Jan. 2007 = 100) 97.7 97.4 97.0 4.5% 95.3 93.5 98.4
Average Monthly Compensation($) 2,619.0 2,612.0 2,610.0 1.1 2,602.4 2,571.7 2,546.1
Average Monthly Hour Worked Index 108.1 107.4 107.0 4.4 105.1 103.7 104.9
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