Employment Picture: Small Businesses Continue to Outperform

New report finds that small businesses add jobs, while others lose.

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The early word on July jobs reports has been pretty bad. But according to a report released by ADP today, the small-business sector continues to be a silver lining in the dark cloud of the overall employment picture.

The picture does seem to be much better than was forecast, fortunately. The ADP National Employment Report finds total nonfarm employment grew by 9,000 from June to July. But that number doesn't tell the whole story—that growth was driven by small-business job growth, which masked problems at larger businesses. July saw "essentially flat employment, with small businesses adding jobs and medium- and large-sized companies losing jobs," says Joel Prakken of Macroeconomic Advisers.

Small businesses added 50,000 jobs last month, a big jump up from the 7,000 added the previous month. Small businesses' relative lack of exposure to construction and housing continues to make them more resilient than bigger businesses when it comes to jobs.