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Unexpected Surge in Small Business Hiring Despite High Interest Rates: CBIZ Employment Index Shows 0.17% Increase in February

Struggles in hiring for small businesses appear to be improving

Unexpected Surge in Small Business Hiring Despite High Interest Rates: CBIZ Employment Index Shows 0.17% Increase in February

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index showed a 0.17% increase in hiring among small businesses in February, despite high interest rates. Small businesses often struggle to retain employees due to their inability to offer competitive salaries and benefits such as health insurance. The index monitors hiring among thousands of businesses with 300 or fewer employees nationwide.

According to Anna Rathbun, the Chief Investment Officer of CBIZ, the U.S. economy has shown unexpected strength in the current high-interest rate environment. Despite this, small businesses have been able to sustain this strength and steadily expand their workforces in February. The index showed that 20% of companies increased their staff, 60% maintained their headcounts, and 20% reduced staff.

Certain industries saw more hiring activity than others. Sectors like administrative and support services, arts and entertainment, and technology and life sciences experienced hiring gains, while industries like accommodation and food services, insurance, and utilities witnessed decreases in employment. In terms of regional hiring patterns, the West, Southeast, and Central regions saw slight increases while the Northeast region saw a slight decline.

The positive trend in small business hiring aligns with the overall job growth in the U.S. economy. In February, U.S employers added 275,000 jobs

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