Small businesses represent almost 95% of all U.S. employers. According to the Paychex/IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, there was the largest 3-month gain (0.21%) in the jobs index. Tennessee and Texas led small business employment growth. Manufacturing had the strongest gain among industry sectors. And hourly earnings has the biggest one-month growth (2.77%). The national average hourly earnings in September was $27.40.