I got an email from ADP — the payroll company — today. It turns out that according to ADP’s small business report, even for the just-ended month of September, the worst in a couple of generations for the financial markets, smaller businesses are still hiring people. Total employment for businesses of 1-50 employees rose by 28,000 in September.
That was actually made up of more than 44,000 new jobs in businesses with fewer than 50 employees in the service sector, plus a loss of more than 16,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector.
Looking over the last five (or so) years, it’s pretty clear where the growth is. The chart below shows total employment (in thousands, so we’re talking about roughly 50 million in services) for businesses of 50 or fewer employees.
I hope you can read this chart, which I may have doctored too much. I broke the scale to bring the less-than-10 million manufacturing jobs closer to the more-than-50-million service jobs. I did that to show the difference in the flat, no-growth manufacturing sector, compared to the steadily growing service sector.