NEW YORK (AP) — MOVING UP AGAIN: Hiring picked up in November at small businesses, the first gain after four months of declines, according to software maker Intuit, which analyzed data posted online by its customers. Intuit counted 10,000 new jobs last month, a gain of 0.06 percent from October.
The average monthly compensation for workers at those companies rose 0.4 percent, and the number of hours that hourly employees worked rose an average 0.6 percent.
STATUS REPORT: The November hiring rate was the highest since January 2009, during the recession, said Susan Woodward, an economist who works with Intuit. But she warned that small businesses' recovery from the recession has overall been slow, with job growth only a little more than 0.5 percent a year since March 2010.
WHAT'S NEXT: Intuit's report is the first of several readings on small business hiring in November. On Wednesday, payroll provider ADP issues its report, and the Labor Department releases its look at November employment on Friday. Although the government doesn't break out its employment statistics by company size, more than 99 percent of U.S. companies are small businesses, so the Labor Department's numbers will reflect the hiring trend at those companies.