Small business hiring slows, wages dip in January

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:06am EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Small business payrolls grew at a slower rate in January and wages fell, an independent survey showed on Monday, suggesting the pace of overall job growth moderated after December's sturdy gain.

Small businesses added 50,000 jobs, payrolls processing firm Intuit said, compared with a gain of 60,000 in December. Still, labor market conditions continue to improve.

"Overall the small business labor market is not weak, but not strong either," said Susan Woodward, the economist who developed the survey. "Small business employment continues to rise but at a rate that will not get us back to full employment very quickly."

The government's more comprehensive employment report due on Friday is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased 150,000 in January, according to a Reuters survey, after rising 200,000 the prior month.

The unemployment rate is seen steady at a near three-year low of 8.5 percent.

The Intuit survey is based on responses from about 72,000 small businesses with fewer than 20 employees that use the Intuit Online Payroll system. It covered the period from December 24 to January 23.

The average monthly salary for small business employees fell 0.1 percent, or $3, to $2,632 in January. The average workweek eased 0.1 percent to 24.8 hours.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Comments (1)
fred5407 wrote:
I own a small business. The government cannot help us with tax relief and by telling us how to run our business. We know how to run our businesses. We need to have lower fuel prices, an indexing of heath care costs to 1970 levels, and we need regulations that are simple to follow and simple to comply with. We need to have enough oil produced in the US and Canada to supply our needs and that oil needs to be earmarked for US and Canada use before one drop is exported. When we have a stable platform to operate from you will see growth. What is happening now, with government help, is that we have a growing plant that keeps getting dug up, with lots of agencies trying to help by looking at the roots, while they should be concerned with letting the plant grow and bloom. Not too much water is needed and you need to protect the plant from being run over by foriegn competition. We small businesses cannot compete with foriegn manufacturers being subsidized by governments or by large corportations running lost leaders to eliminate the competition. Like any growing plant we need a stable environment to survive.

Jan 31, 2012 12:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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