Seattle Metro Ranks No. 1 for Small Business Job Growth, While National Rate Dips

Washington state also ranks second in the U.S. for job growth, and the city and state both rank well for wage growth, too.

Washington state and the Seattle metro are national leaders in small business jobs and wage growth, according to a new report.

The November results of the Paychex IHS Small Business Employment Watch showed the Seattle metro jumping to first overall in small business jobs growth. The Seattle metro was No. 1 on the list for nine months in 2016, but did not top the list in 2017 until this November ranking. Metros also ranking highly are (in order): Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Houston.

Among states, Washington had the best one-month and three-month small business jobs growth rates in the November report. This raises the state’s overall ranking to No. 2 in the U.S., behind only Tennessee. Georgia, Indiana and Florida round out the top five.

Washington state also ranked high in overall wage growth, coming in sixth (up 3.54 percent) in weekly earnings, and 12th in growth of hourly earnings (up 2.34 percent).

For metros, Seattle ranked 14th in hourly earning growth (up 2.49 percent) and sixth in weekly earning growth (up 3.65 percent).

Nationally, the report showed a modest decline in small business job and wage growth. Paychex’s “jobs index” metric decreased 0.03 percent for the month. 0.10 percent for the quarter, and 0.52 percent for the year to 99.86 overall, making November the fifth consecutive month the index was below 100.

“Though the monthly declines this year have been small, they have been persistent,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “At 99.86, the Small Business Jobs Index indicates employment growth, though steady, is now at the slowest pace since 2011.”

Hourly earnings, however, are up 2.77 percent ($0.70) since November 2016.

For more on the report, click here.

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