The latest Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch shows that employment growth held steady in June, with the jobs index moderating just 0.06 percent to 94.81. However, increases in weekly earnings signify an upward trend as more businesses reopened their doors, and employees resumed work. As such, annualized one-month growth in weekly hours worked reached 8.28 percent in June; weekly earnings growth rose to 4.02 percent; and hourly earnings growth increased to 3.46 percent ($0.94) year-over-year. 

Note: Findings are reflective of data through Thursday, June 18, the cutoff date for the monthly Small Business Employment Watch. These insights precede recent COVID-19 case spikes in the South. 

“The jobs index moved very little from May, but increases in wages and hours worked signal significant improvements in small business labor utilization in June,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

“The notable improvements in wage growth and moderation of decreasing job growth are meaningful signs that businesses around the country are starting to ease back into operations,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “As has been the case through the entire COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to keep a close eye on regions where a resurgence in cases may further impact the small business employment landscape.”

The report also includes regional, state, metro, and industry level analysis, showing:

• Employment growth in the Northeast has dropped 4.40 percent during the past quarter, with the most significant decline occurring in April. During this time, all other regions have posted declines of three percent or less.

• Arizona gained 0.89 percent from May to June, boosting its jobs index above 96 and trailing only Florida (97.60).

• Tampa, Phoenix, and Miami led all metros in the level of small business job growth in June.

• In the Northeast, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania scored significant weekly earnings gains from May to June, as did Michigan and Ohio in the Midwest.

• The hardest-hit industry, Leisure and Hospitality, showed sizable wage gains from May to June as businesses reopened; weekly earnings growth increased to 3.76 percent from the previous year.

The complete results for June, including interactive charts detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at