A. Lee Graham Reporter
Texas saw a .08 percent small business employment increase in May, while 15 other states also enjoyed growth, according to results of the latest monthly Intuit Inc. Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes. Of 36 states tracked, 16 enjoyed employment growth in May, while 19 experienced declines and one remained flat. “The small business economic picture remains conflicted,” said Susan Woodward, an economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes. “While May’s small business employment figures are the best we have seen since January 2012, small business revenues have continued to decline month over month on a per-business basis,” said Woodward, commenting in a news release. Small business employment nationwide gained 35,000 new jobs in May, while compensation remained stagnant and hours worked declined. The report found employment increase by 0.18 percent in May, for an annualized growth rate of 2.1 percent. It also found average monthly compensation experiencing no growth in May, remaining steady at the April revised estimate of $2,696. The employment index is based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll, focusing on the period from April 24 through May 23, 2013. “Among the industries tracked, small business retail revenues have been hit the hardest this past quarter, followed by small business health care, which has seen the biggest revenue decline over the past year,” Woodward said. The construction sector continues to be “the silver lining,” Woodward said, the only sector seeing year-over-year revenue growth on a per-business basis. “The good news is the hiring rate, which has been essentially flat since mid-2009, has picked up slightly,” Woodward said. Small business hourly employees worked an average of 106.7 hours in May, representing a 24.6-hour work week. The decline of average monthly hours worked from April to May is consistent with the downward trend that began in mid-2011, Intuit noted. Among states tracked in Intuit’s latest index, Utah and Virginia saw the largest employment increases in May, with 0.3 percent and 0.11 percent, respectively. Suffering the greatest declines were Illinois and Wisconsin, at 0.1 percent each, while Georgia remained The real-estate industry suffered the sharpest revenue decline in April, at 1.5 percent, while the retail industry followed with a 0.8 percent drop. Construction revenues declined the least in April, at 0.4 percent. The index is based on data from QuickBooks Online, monitoring the period from April 1-30, 2013. The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index is based on data from more than 150,000 small businesses, a subset of the total QuickBooks Online financial management user base.