All things considered, American small businesses gave the economy a fairly respectable boost in October and November.


Small businesses added jobs this month but continued subtracting from their employees’ hours and salaries. (LEWIS GEYER/AP)

Should recent patterns continue, that 55,000 estimate could climb even higher by the end of the year. The latest report, for instance, doubled the group’s previously reported estimate for October, revising upward from 30,000 new jobs to 60,000 new jobs.

“This data is the best we could hope for given the uncertainty of the situation in Europe,” Susan Woodward, an economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index, said in a statement.

The news wasn’t entirely cheery, however, as small business employees’ hours and wages continued to slide. Hourly employees worked an average of 107.8 hours in November, marking a 0.3 percent decrease from the 108.1 hours they worked in October.

The average monthly salary also slipped 0.18 percent to $2,637.

“The overall signals are mixed,” Woodward said, noting that “total compensation is down, part-time workers aren’t getting as many hours, and there are fewer hourly employees who are working full time.”

The federal government will release its own employment report for November on Friday.

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