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Wages at small businesses 'surging,' Paychex finds

January 03, 2020 / Valerie Bolden-Barrett

The second half of 2019 saw hourly wages at small businesses "surging," according to data from Paychex released Dec. 31. Small business job gains flattened in the second half of the year as labor markets proved tight, James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement announcing the findings; "In response, weekly earnings have accelerated, surging from 2.49 percent mid-year to 4.13 percent at year-end." Small businesses also have upped workers' hours, with hours worked in December representing the strongest gain since 2012, Paychex found. An increase in hours for existing employees is "a sure sign employers are responding to the pressures of the tight labor market," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO.