ADP says small business hiring picks up momentum in May

Small businesses kicked up their job creation in May, adding 83,000 jobs in a sign that they're willing to take more risks, payroll provider ADP said Thursday.

ADP also revised higher its count of new small business jobs for the previous two months, now reporting a 126,000 gain in March and 68,000 new jobs in April.

Although hiring levels have fluctuated this year, they are nonetheless much stronger than in the second half of last year. ADP small business customers have added an average 90,000 workers per month since January, nearly twice the 47,000 added in the last six months of 2016.

Small businesses, many of them dependent on consumer spending for their revenue, may be feeling more confident about hiring as Americans are spending more. A Commerce Department report this week said consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in April, the largest increase in four months, following a 0.3 percent gain in March.

Business owners have said in many surveys the past few years that they wouldn't hire until their revenue justified taking more risks, including adding more staffers to their payrolls. Surveys this year show many are still taking a conservative approach to hiring.

The uneven pace of small business hiring since the recession has contributed to the economy's slow growth.