Small Businesses Thriving Despite High Interest Rates: CBIZ Report.

Improvement in Small Business Hiring Challenges as Economy Remains Robust

The U.S. economy is showing continued strength, as reported by the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index. Despite high interest rates, small businesses are finding it easier to hire new employees in February. The index showed a 0.17% increase, indicating that the economy is steadily expanding.

Small businesses often struggle to retain workers due to their inability to offer higher salaries or additional benefits like health insurance. The CBIZ index monitors hiring trends among thousands of companies with 300 or fewer employees across the country.

According to Anna Rathbun, the chief investment officer of CBIZ, the unexpected strength of the U.S. economy in the face of high interest rates has allowed small businesses to expand their workforce during February. About 20% of companies in the index increased their staffing levels, while 60% kept their headcounts the same and 20% reduced staff numbers.

Certain industries like administrative and support services, arts and recreation, and technology and life sciences saw hiring gains, while industries like accommodation and food services, insurance, and utilities saw decreases. Regional differences were also noted, with the West, Southeast, and Central regions experiencing slight hiring increases, while the Northeast region experienced a slight decline.

This trend in small business hiring mirrors the broader market where U

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