Tennessee leads all states in small business growth

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Tennessee continued to lead all states in employment growth among small businesses in the past year, growing jobs among employers surveyed by the payroll firm Paychex by 2.11% in the past 12 months.

The new Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch measuring employment growth among small businesses fell in the second half of the year in most states after the U.S. economic recovery entered a record 10th year this summer. At 98.16, the national jobs index fell 0.73% year-over-year drop in the rate of small business job growth.

"Small business job gains have flattened in the second half of the year as labor markets prove very tight," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. "In response, weekly earnings have accelerated."

Amid the tight labor market, hourly earnings grew nationwide by 3.07%