Making money, not hires

Aug. 30, 2011 at 7:28 AM ET

Sageworks Inc. /

There's no question that many companies are doing more with less these days, and it appears that in some cases that's also extending to their profits.

Sageworks Inc., which provides financial analysis of privately held companies, crunched the numbers and  found that profit per employee at privately held companies has chugged substantially upward over the past couple of years.

That means that as companies have made do with fewer employees — and perhaps stretched those employees to do more work — they’ve also been making more money off them.

The profit per employee figure did dip in 2009, to $10,045.56, according to Sageworks. But it has since surged to $15,278.72 in 2011.

Even if sales are increasing, it’s not clear that privately held companies are eager to hire more workers any time soon. Small business owners have reported increased pessimism over where the economy will go in the coming year, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

The U.S. jobless rate stood at 9.1 percent in July. August jobs data are due to be released Friday morning, and economists don’t expect the nation's employment situation to have improved much over the prior month.


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