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From June 24 to July 23, small businesses grew employment by 0.2 percent, equaling an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent, with 50,000 new hires, according to the Small Business Employment Index by Intuit Inc.

Hours worked also grew by 0.7 percent for an 8.6 percent annual rate, and compensation increased by 0.6 percent for the month, resulting in a 7.6 percent annual rate, in July. Since October 2009, small businesses, which are defined by employers with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit Online Payroll, have added 715,000 jobs. Based on these latest numbers, Intuit revised upward the previously reported growth rate for June to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent, equating to 50,000 jobs added for the month.

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