The new ADP jobs report for September shows that hiring nationwide continues to be sluggish, with the U.S. economy adding only 166,000 jobs last month—fewer than the 176,000 created in August and the 200,000-plus monthly job creation rate seen at the beginning of the 2013. With September’s mild growth, economists say it will be difficult for the U.S. unemployment rate to fall much below its current 7.3 percent.
What’s interesting in the ADP report, however, is that small businesses continue to be the ones generating the most jobs. They accounted for 74,000 of the new jobs created in September, while large companies added only 64,000 jobs.
Another new jobs report by Quickbooks creator Intuit suggests small businesses added only 1,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, translating to a measly 0.01-percent growth rate. Construction and real estate accounted for the September job growth, Intuit found, while other industries saw modest declines.
Despite the ultra-slow growth, both jobs reports ultimately convey a positive message: Despite the mounting pressures faced by small businesses today—from Obamacare to the threat of a government shutdown (which happened, of course) to frugal consumers—they continue to hire and grow, albeit very slowly. “The silver lining is that the small business hiring rate is up for the 11th month in a row,” wrote economist Susan Woodward, who helps Intuit compile its jobs report. “This increase is an encouraging sign of strength in a small business labor market that is otherwise in the doldrums.”
The official government jobs report is expected to be delayed due to the government shutdown. However, it will be the October jobs report that will be particularly telling: Can small businesses continue to beat the odds and hire despite the first government shutdown in 17 years? Time will tell.
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