Small businesses ended the first quarter of the year on a high note, adding 47,000 jobs in March, according to the latest ADP Small Business Employment Report. March, however, was the slowest month of job growth in 2018 so far, with small businesses adding 68,000 jobs in February and 58,000 jobs in January. 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
When looking at small businesses by size, very small businesses (those with 1-19 employees) added 35,000 jobs in March (up from 27,000 jobs in February), and other small businesses (20-49 employees) added 12,000 jobs (down from 41,000 jobs in February).
Consistent with the previous months, the service-producing sector had a better month than the goods-producing sector. The service-producing sector added 36,000 jobs in March (compared to 56,000 jobs in February), while the goods-producing sector added 11,000 jobs (down from 12,000 jobs in February).
Comparison to Overall U.S. Job Growth
With the exception of U.S. franchises, overall job growth had a very strong showing in March. According to the ADP’s National Employment Report, employers across the U.S. added 241,000 jobs in March, once again exceeding economists’ expectations and marking the fifth consecutive month of job gains at or higher than 200,000.
Looking at growth by business size and sector, mid-sized businesses added 127,000 jobs in March (up from 97,000 jobs in February), and large businesses added 67,000 jobs (down from 70,000 jobs the previous month).
The goods-producing sector added 65,000 jobs (up from 37,000 jobs in February), while in the service-producing sector, the U.S. added 176,000 jobs (down from 198,000 jobs the previous month).
The industries adding the most jobs in March were professional and business services (44,000 jobs added); trade, transportation and utilities (40,000); manufacturing (29,000); and education and health (28,000). No industries reported losses.
While strong job growth is always welcome, it can create added challenges for small business owners trying to hire top talent. As Moody’s Analytics’ chief economist Mark Zandi told CNBC, “The tight labor market continues to tighten.” If you’re having trouble finding candidates for your open positions, consider these hidden talent pools.
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