According to the monthly Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, the rate of growth for small business jobs and wages declined for the month of July.  It is currently being estimated by Accounting Today that this is “a sign that tax reform isn’t boosting the economy as much as the latest GDP numbers suggest.”  For a closer look, The Small Business Jobs Index fell to 99.34 in July, a drop of 0.63% year over year. Hourly earnings growth was 2.42 percent, which is “up $0.63 from a year ago, but since last July, hourly earnings growth has slowed 0.54 percent.”

Top performers in terms of employment and wage growth included the Southern and Western regions.  Despite its criticism in recent months due to increasing taxes, the West remains the best region for wage growth.  “The South has been the highest region for more than two years, but its employment growth has slowed the most year-over-year, by 0.79 percent.”

In terms of states, Arizona and Michigan topped the list with Arizona employment increasing 0.72% from June to July, and 1.43% year over year.  “Michigan continued its recent surge with its third consecutive large gain, improving to 100.74.”

Lastly, in terms of industries, “the leisure and hospitality sector has dropped from above 100 in July 2017 to below 99 this July. With its 10th decrease in the past 12 months, the “Other Services (except Public Administration)” category of mostly discretionary services has slowed 2.70 percent, performing worst among industry sectors.”

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