Service-providing industries added 170,000 jobs in December, while total U.S. non-farm private employment added 238,000 in the same period. This growth is attributed primarily to either small businesses or very large businesses. Professional and business services continued to be the largest contributor to employment in the service-providing sector.
Average Hourly and Weekly Earnings, by Industry
Every sector has seen an increase in wages year-over-year from 2012 to 2013. Information services and mining and logging topped the list of wage increase. The increase in the services-based employment, combined with an overall positive outlook for wages across the industry, results in optimism for 2014. However, while changes in wages for services are important, this might not be the best indicator for small employers.
Small Business Growth This Year
According to the Intuit Small Business Employment and Revenue Index, U.S. small businesses added 20,000 new jobs in December of 2013. The national economy is expected to improve in 2014, which will help the local economy and small businesses. Additionally, credit will be easier to obtain in 2014. In mid-2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a survey finding that 49 percent of businesses cited access to capital as a barrier to growth. However, by December 2013, small business loan approval rates at big banks were at 17.6 percent, up from 14.9 percent in the previous year.
In addition to easier access to loans, small business owners are less affected by the new health care laws in effect this year, as many have fewer than 50 employees and are exempt from the mandate. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, of the 28 million small businesses in the country, 96 percent will not be subject to the health law.