Casual hires boost jobs growth for small businesses

New data reveals that small-business jobs rose in October despite the winding down of government support programs such as JobKeeper, while revenue experienced slower year-on-year growth.

The latest Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) program, conducted by small-business platform Xero in partnership with research firm AlphaBeta, reveals that casual jobs are boosting overall small-business job growth, having risen 27 per cent in October since the lowest point during the pandemic in mid-April 2020. Casual employment is now 3.7 per cent below pre-crisis levels with growth of 1.7 per cent over October.

“It is encouraging to see the rise of casual employment as we approach the summer holidays,” Trent Innes, Managing Director Australia and Asia, Xero, said. “While small business has experienced slower year-on-year revenue growth this month compared to previous months, the jobs increase signals a pick-up in business momentum as small businesses gear up for the peak holiday season and scale their operations with more casual workers. We’re hopeful this will be a continued trend in November.”

Overall, small business jobs continue to rise, with 0.9 per cent registered in October. This is despite the significant changes to the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme at the end of September. Small business jobs are still 2.2 per cent lower than they were pre-crisis.

On an industry level, hospitality and arts and recreation are steadily recovering, with jobs in those sectors growing 0.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively month-on-month.

Revenue-wise, small business revenue fell 0.5 per cent year-on-year in October, after three months of positive growth.

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