According to Gusto’s real-time payroll data from more than 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses across the country, net jobs grew slightly slower last month compared to a year ago, and pay gains for newly hired workers continue to be modestly positive.

  • In March, pay among newly hired workers was 2.1% higher than pay for those hired this time last year, led by increases in new hire pay within the Utilities, Legal, and Sports & Recreation industries. 
  • SMB net jobs increased by 0.9% in March; this is down slightly from 1.0% in March last year. The fastest-growing industries in March were the Accommodations, Facilities, and Sports & Recreation industries. 

This month, we continue to see the “wait and see” economy that has been persisting over the past year among small businesses. Continued economic uncertainty and rising costs have led many SMBs to take a more cautious approach to hiring. In March, we saw modest gains in pay for new workers and a slight increase in net jobs. 

Gusto’s New Hires Pay Index

Pay for newly hired workers on the Gusto platform increased 2.1% in March 2024, meaning businesses paid new workers 2.1% more than new hires this month compared to March of last year, a sign of intensifying competition among employers looking for workers. 

Net jobs increased by 0.9% across sectors in March 2024. This is slightly lower than the last year in March 2023, when net jobs increased by 1.0%. 

About the data

Gusto pay and hiring trends data is derived using Gusto’s real-time payroll data from over 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses across industries and across the country. New Hires Pay Index calculates the percent change in average annualized pay between workers hired in a given month and those hired one year earlier.

Interested in learning more about these trends? Contact us at [email protected]

Tom Bowen is an Economist at Gusto, researching work and business trends in the modern economy. He received his Master’s of Economics from UC Santa Cruz. Tom currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
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