Small business job growth in October was unchanged from September. According to the ADP’s most recent Small Business Employment Report, which looks at job growth specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees, small businesses added 34,000 jobs in October, the same number the ADP reported in September.
Looking at company size, very small businesses (those with 1-19 employees) added 14,000 jobs and other small businesses (those with 20-49 employees) added 20,000 jobs.
Looking at sectors, small businesses in the goods-producing sectors continue to lose jobs (down 13,000 jobs, significantly lower than the 2,000 jobs lost in September). In contrast, small businesses in the service-providing sector are making up for the loss, having added 48,000 jobs in October.
These numbers seem to be in sync with national trends. According to the ADP’s national report, the U.S. added 147,000 private jobs across company size from September to October. (Medium-sized businesses added 48,000 jobs, and large businesses added 64,000.) Overall jobs in the goods-producing sector are down 18,000 but have spiked in the service-producing sector, which added 165,000 jobs.
If it feels as if job growth is hitting a plateau, you’re not alone. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, “Job growth remains strong, although the pace of growth appears to be slowing.” Zandi attributes the slowdown in part to “businesses’ difficulty filling open positions.”
If you’re having trouble filling open positions, perhaps it’s time to reconsider waiting for the perfect applicant to come along and hire candidates with potential. Another option to consider: asking your employees for referrals, which could lead to quality hires.