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-0.01% 12-month change

Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index Shows Improved Employment Growth in February

Rochester, N.Y. (March 1, 2016) – The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index added to its January gain with a February increase of 0.10 percent. At 100.75, the national index is just 0.08 off the pace set a year ago in February, which represented the high point of 2015. The Mountain region remains the top-performing regional index while Washington retains the top spot among states for the second consecutive month. Dallas maintained its top ranking among metropolitan areas, while Seattle holds second place with another strong month. Other Services (except Public Administration)*, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ranked as the top industry sector, followed by Construction, which had the best one-month growth rate among industry sectors.

"After a strong start to 2016, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index increased further in February as the pace of small business growth is up 0.33 percent in the last quarter," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS. "Moreover, the back-to back gains in January and February were the first consecutive increases in a year."

"The pace of small business job growth nationally continued on a positive trend," said Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex. "A number of individual state and metro area results indicate stronger gains that we view as positive signs."

The February 2016 Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index

National Index

National Index

Up 0.10 percent from January to February, small businesses were able to expand on the gains achieved the previous month. At 100.75, the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index has regained all of its losses since April 2015. Over 100 for the 53rd straight month, the national index continues to indicate a solid expansion of small business jobs. Eighteen of the 20 most populous states analyzed had an index level above 100 in February.

National Index Graph

Regional Employment

Up 0.79 percent year-over-year, Mountain continues to lead among regions with an index level of 101.94. Following the Mountain, the top-ranked regions are all three southern and the Pacific, consistent with the strong Sun Belt general job growth in 2015-2016. With strong gains in recent months, the South Atlantic is up 0.58 percent from November, the fastest three-month growth rate since 2012. Likely stemming from oil prices, the West North Central is now the lowest ranked region at 99.93, and also claims the lowest one-month and 12-month growth rates.

Regional Heatmap plus legend
Note: Percentages displayed in the regional heat map reflect 12-month changes.

State Employment

Texas gained 0.21 percent from January to February, yet still managed to drop two spots to fourth place among states due to strong gains in Tennessee and Florida. According to the BLS, Tennessee and Florida ended 2015 with very strong gains in terms of total jobs. At 103.52, Washington experienced a one-month increase of 0.36 percent in February and remains the top-ranked state index. After falling below 99 in November 2015, Virginia has shown positive growth for four straight months and is back over 100 for the first time since June 2015. While a majority of states started 2016 with positive growth rates, employment gains in Massachusetts slowed further in February as its index fell below 100.

State Chart
Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest states based on U.S. population. The chart's dark blue bars reflect the index level and the light blue diamonds reflect the 12-month change.

Metropolitan Employment

Seattle had a one-month gain of 0.50 percent in February as it remains solidly in second place among metros at 103.58. Still the top-ranked metro, Dallas increased just 0.09 percent to 105.77 after the steep drop-off in January. Miami hit a new record pace of small business employment growth as its index increased 0.40 percent from the previous month to 102.21. New York City is up 1.25 percent during the past year and moved up to the 10th ranked metro in February.

Metro Chart
Note: Analysis is provided for the 20 largest metro areas based on U.S. population. The chart's dark blue bars reflect the index level and the light blue diamonds reflect the 12-month change.

Industry Employment

Up 0.37 percent from January to 102.49, the Construction industry had another gain in February, the fifth in the last six months. Education and Health Services ranks third among industries as its index climbed above 101 for the first time in two years. Other Services (except Public Administration) hit another new record high in February at 104.85 as small business employment growth continues to outpace other sectors. Manufacturing small business employment slowed 0.48 percent from the previous month as its index fell to 98.99, the lowest among industries.

Industry Chart
Note: Analysis is provided for eight major industry sectors. The chart's dark blue bars reflect the index level and the light blue diamonds reflect the 12-month change.

For more information about the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index, visit the website. Plus, view and download the February 2016 Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index infographic. Or, sign up to receive monthly alerts on the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index.

*Information regarding the professions included in the industry data can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

About the Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index is released each month by Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses, and IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, providing analysis of small business employment trends across the U.S.

The index analyzes same-store, year-over-year worker count changes to identify and track small business employment trends using real small business payroll data from the Paychex client base. The index is based on aggregated data from approximately 350,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 workers across the United States, one of the largest sample sizes of any small business index or report in the country, and provides timely, accurate insight into national, regional, state, metro, and industry employment activity.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients across more than 100 locations and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About IHS Markit (

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and expertise for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.
IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2017 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

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