Press Releases

Small Business Layoffs at Lowest Level since 2009

TriNet’s SMBeat report reflects 29 percent decrease in turnover.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (March 16, 2011) – Small businesses are seeing less turmoil and more stabilization, according to the SMBeat report, released this month by TriNet, a leading provider of human resources services for small businesses. Turnover rates, representing terminations and resignations, have decreased 29 percent since February 2010. SMBeat tracks payroll and hiring movements within TriNet’s base of approximately 3,000 small technology and service company customers.

Key findings:

  • Hiring Slows – While hiring continues to rise—10 percent increase since 2010 levels—February hiring saw a drop of 4 percent from January. TriNet predicts a moderation in hiring through Q2 but trends still point to broad employment growth.
  • Employment Levels Stabilize – Terminations and resignations have dropped 29 percent since 2010. At less than 2 percent in February, this indicates a healthy labor market, as most terminations are driven by an employee desire to move on to a more appealing role.
  • Compensation is slowly starting to rise – TriNet believes the reported growth in compensation year-over-year is significant as there was likely not a significant change in the distribution of employees and the salary growth therefore represents true supply/demand effects of an equally skilled workforce.

“Over the past year, many small businesses have gone through a highly challenging period of terminations,” said Jimmy Franzone, TriNet’s vice president of corporate development. “We believe this was driven by both economic necessity, but also the desire to upgrade their talent. Now that turnover has stabilized, we see strong rates of hiring, reflecting a focus on the caliber of the employee.”

Additional details can be found online at

About SMBeat

The SMBeat is derived from anonymous payroll data from the thousands of TriNet small business customers and 100,000+ employees working in the technology, professional services, and financial services industries. Additional details can be found at

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 routine 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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