Small business job growth continued its upward trend in February, adding almost twice as many jobs as it did in January. According to the ADP’s most recent Small Business Employment Report, small businesses added 104,000 jobs in February – up from 62,000 jobs in January, and 18,000 jobs in December. The ADP’s small business employment report looks at job growth specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
Businesses across size and industry saw gains. Very small businesses (those with 1-19 employees) added 51,000 jobs – up from 30,000 jobs in January, and other small businesses (20-49 employees) added 53,000 jobs – up from 31,000 in January. After a moderate gain of 12,000 jobs in January (following months of loss), small businesses in the goods-producing sector added 39,000. Meanwhile, the service-producing sector added 65,000 jobs – up from 50,000 jobs added in January.
Comparison to Overall U.S. Job Growth
Small businesses aren’t the only ones that saw strong job growth in February. According to the ADP’s national report, the U.S. added 298,000 private sector jobs in February – up from 246,000 in January and 153,000 in December. Mid-sized businesses added 122,000 jobs (up from 102,000 in January), and large businesses added 72,000 jobs (a slight decrease from the 83,000 jobs added in January). Overall jobs in the goods-producing sector are up 106,000 (up from 46,000 in January) and jobs in the service-producing sector are up 193,000 (down from the 201,000 in January).
The construction and professional and business industries saw the most growth (each added 66,000 jobs), followed by education and health and leisure and hospitality (44,000 jobs added each). No industries reported losses.
This month’s report exceeded economists’ expectations of 190,000 jobs. Part of the increase may be due to a rise in employers’ confidence and optimism about things to come. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics (via CNBC): "Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff — tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively."
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