Small business hiring fell slightly in October in the wake of devastating Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, human resources firm Paychex said Tuesday.
Paychex also said national hourly earnings for the month were an average $26.07, a gain of 2.91 percent, or 74 cents, year over year.
“We’re seeing wage increases just under 3 percent, which is frankly very solid and nice and stable as well, given that inflation is still around 2 percent. Consumer are getting some gains out of those wages,” Paychex CEO Marty Mucci told CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” moments after the report was released.
The Paychex Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.04 from September to 99.89.
“While generally stable, the national jobs index dropped slightly in October, undoubtedly impacted to some degree by those communities recently disrupted by natural disasters,” said Mucci.
“In line with last month’s results, we continued to see a slowdown in hours worked in those places recovering from hurricanes in August and September, specifically Houston, Miami, and Tampa,” he added.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month that the U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September impacted by the devastating effects from those hurricanes.
Earlier this year, Mucci had attributed the U.S. growth to President Donald Trump’s pro-business agenda, including tax reform and deregulation.
The Paychex report comes three days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its closely watched employment data for October.