by Jim Ash, President, Eagle Chamber of Commerce …

Colorado's small businesses employment grew .15 percent in December, according to Intuit Inc.’s 2012 Small Business Employment and Revenue Report.

States with job increases are ingreen. States with job decreases are shaded red. Brown represents zero change.

It marks the third straight month that small businesses added more workers in Colorado. November saw job gains of .09 and in October they grew by .05 percent, the Intuit Payroll Small Business Index showed.

Nationwide, small businesses created 15,000 jobs in December – a .99 increase over November, according to the 173,000 small businesses with fewer than 20 employees who use Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll.

“Small business revenues are gradually recovering from recessionary depths, but are just now reaching levels seen before the recession began in 2007,” Intuit reported in a press release.

The largest gains occurred in Utah and South Carolina.

The only markets that didn't show small business improvement were the Middle Atlantic, East North Central and New England census divisions.

Intuit claims its index is the first in the market to provide current information on monthly small business revenue.

According to Intuit, the December results also show:

•    The revenue index indicates that small businesses overall saw revenue decline in November. Among the industries tracked by the Index, none saw an increase this month.

•    Professional, scientific, and technical services saw the biggest decline, at 0.6 percent, followed by Retail trade, and ‘Other’ services with a 0.5 percent decline.

•    Average monthly pay for small business employees increased to $2,702 in December, or 0.5 percent and monthly hours worked increased 0.08 percent in December, corresponding to 107.4 hours.