Companies with fewer than 20 employees created new jobs in January, but they also paid employees less and gave them fewer hours, according to a small business survey.
A monthly report by Intuit found small business employment grew by about 50,000 jobs, or 0.2 percent, compared to 60,000 jobs last month. But the amount of time worked decreased by six minutes, or 0.05 percent, and monthly compensation also decreased slightly, by $3 or 0.1 percent.
Intuit's figures show that small business employment has continued to grow since October 2009, but not at a rate that will get the economy back to full employment very quickly, Susan Woodward, an economist with Sandhill Econometrics who worked on the survey, said in a statement.
The government is expected to report Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 150,000 in January, down from 200,000 the previous month, according to a Reuters survey.
Intuit also found that employment growth increased in all census divisions except for the New England, where employment decreased by 0.01 percent. The states that saw a decrease in employment were New York and Maryland.
The geographical pattern of labor market indicators shows more weakness in employment on the East Coast, especially the New York region where there are more financial service businesses, Woodward said. This suggests that the continuing uncertainty regarding the Euro and the debts of the European sovereign nations are a force in economic activity here.