National job growth was on the rise for the fifth consecutive month in October and wages are increasing dramatically too, according to aggregated payroll data of Paychex. According to the report, Arizona ranked second in job growth in October, behind Texas. Phoenix ranks third among all metros with an index of 102.44.

READ ALSO: Arizona expected to add 325,000 jobs by spring 2022

The data released in the latest report of the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows the Small Business Jobs Index for October increased to 100.45, up 0.50 percent in October and 6.50 percent over a year ago. In response to labor market pressures, hourly earnings growth improved to 3.85 percent in October, a new record level since reporting began 10 years ago.

“The Small Business Jobs Index added another 0.50 percent to reach 100.45 in October, its best level in four and a half years, indicating that small business hiring is improving rapidly,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

“The positive gains seen since June indicate that jobs lost in 2020 are steadily coming back, although there’s still ground to make up to return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “With hourly earnings growth at record levels, you can see employers are responding to labor market pressures and the impact of many workers leaving their current jobs and seeking new opportunities.”

In further detail, the October report showed:

• The national jobs index surpassed 100 for the first time since 2017.

• At a national level, hourly earnings growth has steadily increased, from 2.99 percent in June to 3.85 percent in October.

• Of the 20 largest states based on U.S. population, nine have hourly earnings growth above four percent.

• With hourly earnings growth at record levels, weekly earnings growth is also on the rise, increasing to 3.15 percent in October.

• Leisure and hospitality leads sectors in earnings and hours worked growth for the seventh consecutive month.

• The West is the new top region for small business employment growth, overtaking the South.

Paychex business solutions reach 1 in 12 American private-sector employees, making the Small Business Employment Watch an industry benchmark. Drawing from the payroll data of approximately 350,000 Paychex clients with fewer than 50 employees, the monthly report offers analysis of national employment and wage trends, as well as examines regional, state, metro, and industry sector activity.