Press Releases

Small Business Employment Continues to Grow

Employee retention and total employment levels continue to improve despite holiday slowdowns.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (December 23, 2011) – Employee turnover in knowledge-worker companies reached a two-year low of 1.2 percent in November and should continue trending downward into December. Meanwhile, the overall hiring rate fell slightly to 2.95 percent; while down for the month it is up for the year. The net effect of these combined statistics is an overall 1.73 percent increase in the November aggregate job count for companies tracked by TriNet’s SMBeat.

These figures provide additional support for an overall improvement in the U.S. unemployment rate, which reportedly reached its lowest level last month since the recession. Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the creation of 120K new jobs in November, upon closer examination, almost 75 percent of these new jobs were created in the retail and hospitality sectors, which are especially sensitive to seasonal effects.

“TriNet member companies are hiring for long-term growth, not for seasonal demand, which suggests continued sector outperformance versus the rest of the economy,” said Jimmy Franzone, TriNet’s vice president of corporate development.

Key Findings:

  • Monthly Turnover dramatically decreased in terms of both voluntary and involuntary terminations, for an aggregate low of 1.2 percent, indicating increased employment stability for small businesses. Total turnover decreased by 6.9 percent for the month with involuntary falling to 0.38 percent, down 10.3 percent from October, and voluntary down to 0.84 percent, down 5.2 percent for the month.
  • Hiring slowed to 2.95 percent coming into the holiday season, down roughly 6.6 percent month-over-month but up 2.2 percent year-over-year. Hiring during the month of November slowed down for the third consecutive year. This seasonal pull-back is likely due to a combination of holiday vacations along with the traditional year-end sales push.  We expect this trend will continue and anticipate increased hiring going into the New Year.
  • Average Annual Compensation decreased ever-so slightly year-over-year, by 0.15 percent, to $108,456, essentially on par with October’s data.

The complete report is available here.

About SMBeat

SMBeat provides a detailed analysis and a predictive forecast for trends in key human capital economic indicators for small businesses. TriNet generates the payroll information by tracking real-time movements within its base of approximately 3,000 entrepreneurial businesses, with between 10 and 150 employees, and earning approximately $100,000 in annual base salary. These companies fall primarily into three broad industry segments: technology, professional services, and financial services. SMBeat aggregates and reports data reflecting compensation, hiring and retention (both involuntary terminations and voluntary resignations), and also provides ongoing analysis of contributing factors to these trends, including regional, industry and seasonal variables. Additional details can be found on the company’s SMBeat web page

About TriNet

TriNet is a trusted partner to small businesses, providing critical HR-related services on an outsourced basis. TriNet’s solutions help contain costs, minimize employer-related risks and relieve administrative burden to keep an entrepreneur’s focus on core business functions. From employee benefits service and payroll processing to high-level human capital consulting, TriNet's PEO expertise is integrated with every facet of a client’s business. TriNet specializes in serving fast-moving companies in fields such as technology and financial services, who recognize that top-quality employees are the most critical competitive asset. For more information, please visit

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