Intuit QuickBooks has announced the latest Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index. The index serves as a powerful monthly indicator of employment and hiring among small businesses in the US, Canada and the UK developed in collaboration with leading global economist Professor Ufuk Akcigit of the University of Chicago.
The latest index for the United States in May indicates that small businesses with one to nine employees saw monthly employment decrease by -0.16% to 12,863,300 jobs.* This means small businesses now employ 20,600 fewer people nationally compared to the previous month.
Small business employment dropped in every sector during May.
Sectors with the largest decreases were:
- Information (NAICS 51) — such as radio networks, newspapers, and book publishers — with a drop of -0.95% to 289,500 jobs
- Transport and warehousing (NAICS 48-49) — such as taxi services, school bus companies, and storage companies — with a drop of -0.89% to 52,200 jobs
- Finance and real estate (NAICS 52-53) — such as credit unions and property management companies — with a drop of -0.66% to 834,900 jobs
Sectors with the smallest decreases in small business employment were:
- Agriculture, natural resources and mining (NAICS 11; 21) — such as orchards, farms and drilling contractors — with a drop of -0.07% to 179,300 jobs
- Education and health services (NAICS 61-62) — such as exam preparation services, driving schools and physician and dental practices — with a drop of -0.25% to 2,328,400 jobs
- Utilities (NAICS 22) — including power, irrigation and air conditioning supply — with a drop of -0.27% to 646,900 jobs
Small business employment also dropped in every US region during May. For example:
- The Far West (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) had the largest decrease in small business employment, with a drop of -0.65% to 2,159,300 jobs.
- The Plains (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota) had the smallest decrease, with employment down by -0.14% to 873,800 jobs.
For more details, refer to the most current.
In announcing the index, Ufuk Akcigit, the Arnold C. Harberger Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, said the US inflation rate remained higher than target at 4.9% in April.
“To combat this price surge, the Federal Reserve has implemented a gradual increase in its policy rate over the course of nearly a year, moving it from near zero to slightly above 5%,” Akcigit said. “Surprisingly, despite these measures, the unemployment rate remains at a record low, and mass layoffs have been successfully avoided thus far. These positive outcomes have created market expectations for another rate increase in June.”
Akcigit went on to say that beneath the surface of the aggregate numbers lies an important and noteworthy compositional shift. “Economic activity is progressively shifting away from small businesses and favoring larger enterprises. Detecting this shift in the data can be challenging due to the inherent under-representation of small businesses in most data sources.”
Furthermore, official statistics, which provide comprehensive coverage of small businesses, often arrive with a significant delay of seven to nine months. Say Akcigit, “Recognizing the need to fill this crucial gap, the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index has emerged as a valuable tool, offering timely and insightful information.”
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