Small business wages increased in June

Small business wages increased last month while employment declined, according to the Paychex IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch. 

Hourly earnings last month were $25.82 for small business workers, with no change from May. Wages have increased $0.72 year-over-year. Growth was strongest in the Western U.S., with Washington and Arizona seeing the highest weekly earnings increase, at more than 4 percent.  

However, the national Small Business Job Index decreased for the fourth consecutive month, falling 0.24 percent to settle at 100.10 in June. This is the lowest the index has been in six years. 

The construction industry has lost the most small business jobs over the last year, with the number of available positions declining by 1.89 percent. Manufacturing, however, was the sole industry to contribute to small business job growth during the first half of 2017, the report noted.

"Over the past month we've seen continued uncertainty as it relates to legislative policies that stand to impact small businesses," said Paychex President and CEO Martin Mucci. 

The Midwest has been the only region to show stronger employment growth in 2017 than in 2004, consider the "base year" by the report. 

A recently released economic index for the Midwest region increased to 62.3 in June from 55.5 in May, the News Tribune reported. 

"The overall index over the past several months indicates a healthy regional manufacturing economy, and points to healthy growth for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing into the fourth quarter of this year," said Ernie Goss, economist at Creighton University.

Hourly earnings last month were $25.82 for small business workers.