FRANCHISE HIRING DIPS: Franchise companies added 15,040 jobs in September, down from August's 16,160 but up from 12,300 in July, according to payroll provider ADP. Restaurants were by far the leader in creating jobs, with 9,190 new hires last month. That continued a months-long trend.
WHAT IT MEANS: The ADP numbers fit with other reports on small business hiring that shows owners have become more cautious in recent months because they're concerned about the economy. The slower pace of hiring in September may also reflect uncertainty while companies waited to see whether Congress would reach a budget agreement or force a government default.
THE GOOD NEWS: The jump in hiring at restaurants shows that business owners are optimistic that consumer spending, which has been rising modestly in recent months, will pick up momentum. Leisure companies added 1,130 jobs. ADP bases its report on data supplied by its small business customers.