U.S.Hourly Earnings and Weekly Hours Worked Increase at Small Businesses in July: IHS Markit

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows small business job growth fell 0.15 percent in July; Wages continue to trend up as hourly earnings growth, weekly earnings growth, and hours worked rise

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for July shows a slight decline in job growth and a fourth consecutive month of accelerated wage growth. The national jobs index stands at 98.18, down 0.15 percent from last month and 1.18 percent below its pace in July 2018. The deceleration in job growth follows a 0.45 percent decrease in June. Hourly earnings growth reached its strongest rate in more than a year at 2.70 percent in July, and weekly earnings growth improved to 2.57 percent. Additionally, one-month annualized growth for weekly hours worked, up 1.19 percent, is the highest it’s been since 2017.

“The further decline of the jobs index to 98.18 in July validates the sharp fall in small business employment growth seen in June,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

“It’s not surprising to see continued lower job growth and wage increases in this tight labor market,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “While finding good candidates continues to present hiring challenges for small employers, the data shows that employees are seeing steady increases in hourly earnings.”

Broken down further by geography and industry, the July report showed:

  • The South remains the top region for employment growth; the West leads regions in hourly earnings growth.
  • Texas maintains the lead among states in small business job growth; Illinois remains the top state for wage growth.
  • Dallas is again the top metro for job growth; San Diego maintains its lead among metros in wage growth.
  • Financial Activities was the only industry sector to increase the pace of job growth in July.

The complete results for July, including interactive charts detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at www.paychex.com/employment-watch. Highlights are available below. 

July 2019 Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch