The new ADP National Employment Report found that small companies with fewer than 50 employees added 108,000 new jobs in December—their highest job growth rate since early 2012. (By comparison, mid-sized businesses added 59,000 jobs, while large companies added 71,000.) U.S. companies overall added an impressive 238,000 new jobs in December, the most in over a year.
The construction industry in particular had a great month, adding 46,000 new jobs, the most since 2006.
"Job gains are broad-based across industries, most notably in construction and manufacturing," Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which helps ADP compile the report, told USA Today. "It appears that businesses are growing more confident and increasing their hiring."
The strong hiring suggests that small businesses expect 2014 will be a good year and they will need the extra headcount. The ADP report echoed a another new jobs report from payroll provider Intuit that also showed strong employment growth among small businesses in December,
But it’s too early to be overly optimistic that small-business hiring is really on the long-term rebound. The 2014 job forecast by CareerBuilder.com suggests that businesses plan to rely more on temporary workers and independent contractors in 2014 and less on full-time employees. Only 19 percent of businesses with 50 or fewer employees plan to increase their headcount this year, while 9 percent actually expect to reduce it. By comparison, 42 percent of employers of all sizes plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2014, up from 40 percent last year. Fewer than half of those employers (43 percent) intend to turn those temp hires into full-time hires.
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