Small businesses add 50,000 jobs in Jan.

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    Hiring at small businesses slowed down in January, according to the latest monthly survey from payroll processing firm Intuit Inc.

    Small businesses added 50,000 jobs, less than the 60,000 jobs that small firms added in December, Reuters reported.

    According to Reuters:

    “The Intuit survey is based on responses from about 72,000 small businesses with fewer than 20 employees that use the Intuit Online Payroll system. It covered the period from December 24 to January 23.”

    “Overall the small business labor market is not weak, but not strong either,” Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the index, said, according to Marketwatch. “Small business employment continues to rise but at a rate that will not get us back to full employment very quickly.”

    The report also showed that the average workweek shrunk 0.1 percent to 24.8 hours, Reuters reported.

    And average monthly pay for small business employees dipped from $2,635 in December to $2,632 in January, equal to about $31,600 a year, Intuit said, according to Marketwatch.

    Hiring at small businesses on the East Coast was less robust than in other parts of the country, the Street reported. “The geographical pattern of labor market indicators shows more weakness in employment on the East Coast, especially the New York region where there are more financial service businesses,” Woodward told the Street. “This suggests that the continuing uncertainty regarding the euro and the debts of the European sovereign nations are a force in economic activity here. We hear this on the news, and we can see it in the small-business figures.”

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