Small-business job opportunities continue to rise as the Intuit Small Business Indexes reported the creation of 20,000 new jobs at these firms in December. Small-business employment had a 0.09 percent increase, a welcomed gain after the industry had not experienced any growth earlier in the year.

Since March 2010, businesses employing fewer than 20 people have created more than 550,000 jobs across the nation. While the rate has been slow at times, December marked the second consecutive month of progress for the sector.

Susan Woodward, economist who works with Intuit to create the indexes, said in a press release that this was the first growth experienced since April 2013.

"For December, the growth rate is about one-tenth of 1 percent, for an annualized rate of just over 1 percent," Woodward said.

States that incurred the highest amount included Washington, Florida, Minnesota and Oregon, all experiencing a rate of 0.2 percent or higher.

Although the indexes reported a decline in both worker compensation and monthly pay, Woodward stated this decrease was due to a lower number of hours worked throughout the month, not to an industry-wide issue. 

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