For the sixth consecutive month, hiring dropped for American small businesses.  While not a significant decline, hiring in August still saw a decrease of 0.02% from July, and a 0.74% decrease from August 2016.  Despite the fall in hiring, Paychex revealed that “Small-business wages continue to rise, reaching a 3 percent, or 76 cents, annual growth rate in August and a 3.27 percent three-month annualized growth rate.”

The moderate decline in hiring may be a reflection of the skill gap American companies are facing in the current market.  While the unemployment rate is at post-recession low, many jobs remain unfilled due to a lack of potential candidates.  According to Paychex, there are many opportunities around the country.  For example “Tennessee remains the top-ranked state for small-business job growth, the report said, while Arizona ranks first in annual hourly earnings growth. Dallas widened its lead as the country’s top metro area for small-business jobs.”  In addition, “Paychex said national hourly earnings in August were $25.98, a 7-cent increase from July.”

Looking into the future, with recent major changes (i.e. Hurricane Harvey in Houston), expect wages and hiring to drop for the nation due to the 4th largest city having to recover from a natural disaster.  I expect numbers to slowly increase shortly after however.