U.S. small businesses kept to their slow pace of hiring during October, according to two reports last week.
Payroll service ADP said small businesses added 50,000 workers last month, and medium-sized businesses added 27,000. And the National Federation of Independent Business said a survey of its members showed that employment at small companies crept up an average 0.02 workers during the month.
Both reports are signs that owners were still cautious in the run-up to this weeks election.
ADP considers a small business to have up to 49 workers, and a medium-sized business up to 499.
However, the federal government considers a small business to have 499 or fewer workers. Using the governments standard, small businesses added 77,000 workers.
The October report was the first in which ADP included numbers for what it considers medium-sized businesses. It previously included them under the category of larger companies. In September, ADP said small businesses added 81,000 workers.
ADP compiles its report from payroll figures at the companies that are its clients.
The NFIB survey showed that owners had marginally added to their staffs after four months of job cuts. The advocacy group said manufacturing and construction companies showed the strongest gains in employment. The number of companies planning to hire workers was unchanged from September only 4 percent said they plan to hire.