Rochester, N.Y. -- The tight labor market continues to positively impact wage growth, according to data from Paychex's Small Business Employment Watch. Hourly earnings grew 3.11% among employees of small businesses, the highest level since reporting began in 2011. Weekly earnings continue to grow, accelerating 3.75% in November. Essentially unchanged from the previous month, the national jobs index moderated 0.03%, remaining above 98.

"Wage increases are finally beginning to reflect the tight labor market for small businesses," said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO, added, "Employers are responding to the challenges of the tight labor market. We've seen a steady climb in hourly earnings growth, now reaching the highest levels in nearly a decade." The November report showed that the South continues to lead regional small business employment growth; while the West retained its lead among regions in wage growth. Tennessee remains the leader among states in small business job growth; New York leads states for wage growth. Dallas is again the top metro for small business job growth; three California metros, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, lead the nation in hourly earnings growth. Leisure and Hospitality leads all other sectors in hourly earnings growth.

Up 0.10% during the past quarter, the national jobs index has a positive three-month growth rate for the first time since March 2017.

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