Professional service providers, manufacturers and builders, including many small businesses, were among the biggest contributors to job growth last month, according to the Labor Department.

The government's November employment report on Friday pointed to pockets of strength for small businesses although it did not break out job growth according to company size. Companies providing professional and business services, which encompasses a variety of industries, added 46,000 jobs. Many of these service providers are small companies, including franchises that are owned by individuals.

Manufacturers added 31,000 jobs and construction companies, which also include many small businesses, added 24,000.

Reports that focused on small businesses also showed growth. Payroll provider ADP said its small business customers, those with up to 49 employees, added a moderate 50,000 jobs in November. The National Federation of Independent Business, which surveys the small business owners who are its members, said more than half the owners it questioned had hired or tried to hire last month.

Small business hiring has fluctuated this year, easing off after a strong start. Many owners have said in surveys they won't hire unless their revenue justifies the expense and risk of taking on more employees. While that approach reflects more caution that still lingers from the Great Recession, it is also the result of more companies turning to automation to get their work done.


Small business owners must comply with federal, state and local laws when they're paying employees — the amount a worker earns can be regulated by the government, and owners must satisfy reporting requirements. SCORE, which provides free counseling for small businesses, is sponsoring an online seminar called "Are You Paying Your Employees Correctly?" It will look at some of the laws and regulations governing payroll. It will be held Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. You can learn more and register by visiting http://bit.ly/2C1aNlT .