Small Businesses Thrive Despite High Interest Rates: CBIZ Report

Improvement in Small Business Hiring Challenges as Economy Remains Robust

New York (AP) – Small businesses across the country are experiencing steady growth in their workforce, as reported by the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index. The index showed a 0.17% increase in February, indicating that small businesses continue to find strength in the U.S. economy despite high interest rates.

Small businesses often struggle to retain workers due to limited resources and benefits such as health insurance. The CBIZ index tracks hiring trends among thousands of companies with 300 or fewer employees across the nation.

According to Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer of CBIZ, the unexpected strength of the U.S. economy has allowed small businesses to steadily expand their workforce during February. About 20% of companies in the index increased their staffing levels, while 60% kept their headcounts the same and 20% reduced staff numbers.

Industries like administrative and support services, arts and recreation, and technology and life sciences saw hiring gains, while industries like accommodation and food services, insurance, and utilities saw decreases. Regional differences were also noted, with the West, Southeast, and Central regions experiencing slight hiring increases, and the Northeast region experiencing a slight decline.

This trend in small business hiring mirrors broader market trends where U.S employers added 275,000 jobs in February

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