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The numbers don't lie--small-business hiring is still resilient.

This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Small improvements can add up to big improvements over time. And the continued slight increases in small-business hiring shown by the Sure-Payroll Hiring Index suggest that entrepreneurs are showing major resilience in a tough business environment. "We don't have robust hiring," says Michael Alter, president of SurePayroll, "but we do have positive [hiring] growth."

The index, compiled by the Skokie, Illinois-based payroll service, stood at 10,494 at the end of August, barely higher than June's 10,466. But, Alter notes, it's up nearly 5 percent from January 2004. The latest figures also mark 17 months during which there was only one down-tick in small-business hiring.

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