Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Small Business: Conventional Wisdom is Wrong

With all the bad news we are hearing, the conventional wisdom is that small businesses will be cutting back on hiring. As sometimes occurs, the conventional wisdom often is wrong. Keep in mind that economists now have concluded the U.S. economy has been in recession since December 2006.

So what might surprise you is that SurePayroll, a company that makes its living processing employee payroll checks, hiring in the small business segment climbed steadily through 2008.

What that means for providers of communications services to small businesses is that underlying demand in the small business segment grew all year in 2008.

After the carnage of October 2008, one might have expected, and news reports suggest, a wave of layoffs starting in November 2008. But SurePayroll says U.S. small businesses increased their staff levels by 0.26 percent in November. “It was the second lowest percentage increase this year, but it extended the run of monthly hiring increases to an impressive twenty-four months,” the company says.

The SurePayroll Hiring Index, which tracks the size of small businesses, ended the month of November at 11,249, which is 30 points higher than where the index stood in October.
For the first 11 months of 2008, when the economy was definitively in recession, small business hiring went up 3.3 percent nationwide.

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