In a sign of improving conditions in the labor market, small companies increase both hours and compensation for their employees by the most in two years, according to an independent market survey.
Small business workers recorded a gain of 0.7 percent in average monthly salary in March, which works out to about $18 per employee, according to Intuit, a firm that processes payrolls. According to Intuit records, the gain was the biggest since December 2009.
That works out to a yearly salary of $33,400, which indicates many of workers are part-time employees.
“This is the strongest small business employment report we have had in a long time,” economist Susan Woodward, who conducted the survey, told Reuters.com.
But Woodward cautioned that the good news doesn’t mean the everything is rosy on the labor front.
“While the various indicators of this market are the strongest we’ve seen in a while, the rate of increase will not get us back to full employment any time soon,” she said.
The number of hours worked by employees rose by 0.5 percent – about 36 minutes – which works out to a 25.8-hour workweek. That increase also was the largest since December 2009. The gains came even though March hiring statistics showed that companies only added 65,000 workers, according to Intuit.
The survey by Intuit relied on information from approximately 72,000 small businesses, each with fewer than 20 employees, that use the Inuit Online Payroll system. The survey covered the period from Feb. 24 to March 23.