For the third month in a row, Detroit showed gains in employment at small businesses, according to a newly released Paychex/ IHS Small Business Jobs Index survey.

In January, Detroit ranked second in employment growth only to Dallas, up nearly 2.5 points on the survey’s index, according to the report released Tuesday.

The survey compares small business employment to 2004 data, starting with a baseline of 100 points. When a city’s index goes above 100 points, that indicates a strengthening job market. When it trends down, that indicates a slowdown.

Detroit has been on the upswing for the last three months, according to the survey. Compared to the top 20 metropolitan cities Paychex and IHS looks at, Detroit was ranked sixth in November and fourth in December.

As a state, Michigan is also moving up the ranks for small business employment, coming in fifth behind Indiana, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. The region as a whole is on the upswing, although the improvement is not as pronounced as it is in the Southeast or North Central part of the country.

Nationally, the index rose 0.09 percent in January to 100.65 points, which was the strongest one-month gain since the national index peaked in April 2014. But it’s still down 0.38 percent compared to this time last year.

The index analyzes same-store, year-over-year worker count changes to track small business employment using data from Paychex Inc. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company is a provider of payroll, human resource, insurance and benefits outsourcing solutions for small-to-medium-size businesses. IHS, a global information and insight firm, conducts the analysis portion to determine employment trends.

The index looks at data from about 350,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 workers across the U.S.

To see the full report, click here.


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