Small businesses add 90,000 jobs


Small businesses saw a 90,000 job increase in February, causing a huge dent in jobs in January. The figures were published Wednesday in the ADP National Employment Report. In January 2022, small businesses lost 96,000 jobs. Although 90,000 job growth was strong in February, small businesses continued to struggle, according to ADP chief economist Nela Richardson.

Tight labor supply

Richardson said tight labor supply continues to be a barrier to hiring from small businesses. “It’s a competitive environment for talent,” Richardson said. “On the other hand, large companies are booming (with hiring) because they have bigger budgets.” “There is an increased level of ‘stops’ with people changing jobs,” she added. “With the reduced numbers in the overall workforce, you’ve seen that dynamic.”

Numbers in the construction industry

Richardson said the construction industry is suffering “a lack of available labor”. The industry is also struggling with the availability of building materials. “Wood and steel prices and shortages, and labor, are problems in new home construction,” Richardson said. “You may have the worker, but not the material.”

Battle to find employees

Richardson described the tension in the labor market as ‘an unhealthy level of tightness’. Vacancies are at 7% (the percentage of available vacancies that are not filled). During the 5 years prior to the pandemic, vacancies were stable at an average of 4%.

Small Business Employment Report Job Breakdown

According to the report, there were 455,000 jobs for small, medium and large companies in March. Small businesses won 90,000, with 37,000 profits in very small businesses (1-19 employees) and 53,000 in small businesses (20-49 employees). job growth was in the service providers category, up 94,000. 5,000 jobs were lost in the goods production category.


Franchises created 11,200 jobs, the majority of which were in auto parts/dealers (7,700) and housing (2,200). Other gains were modest: both restaurants and business services gained 400 jobs each, while food retailers and real estate each gained 200 jobs.

Image: ADP

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