Photo by Ahsan S. on Unsplash

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for April shows that the national job index at 98.77 was down by 0.02% from the previous month and down by 0.77% from 2018. Job growth in the first months in 2019 remained relatively consistent, slowing just 0.03 percent per month to 98.77 in April. Hourly earnings growth in April was 2.5% ($0.66), down from 2.78% in the last quarter.

Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO said that “We’re encouraged to see the rate of small business job growth holding steady, but finding qualified candidates remains a significant challenge for small businesses.” He added that their survey shows that the majority of small business leaders plan to address the labor skills gap by “hiring under qualified candidates who could then be trained on the job.”

The South continues to be the top region in employment growth; the West remains the top region for hourly earnings growth exceeding three percent.

Texas is still the strongest state for small business job growth while Missouri took first place among states for wage growth. Dallas is again the top metro for job growth; San Diego continues to lead metros for wage growth.

Education and Health Services have increased its pace of small business employment growth in each month of 2019.

The complete results for April detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at www.paychex.com/employment-watch.