After improving steadily in the last two quarters of 2018, the number of firms reporting higher revenue and employment fell in the first two quarters of 2019. The number of firms reporting revenue and employment growth peaked in the fourth quarter of 2018, when 57% had revenue growth and 43% employment growth.
45% of firms reported increased sales in the first quarter over the previous year, with 17% reporting a decrease, compared with 43% and 11% respectively in the first quarter. Results in both quarters of this year lagged the fourth quarter of 2018, when 57% reported an increase in sales and 11% reported a decrease compared with the previous year; and
29% of firms reported growth in employment and 9% a decrease compared with the previous year. This quarter’s employment growth results lagged both the first quarter of 2019, when 32% reported higher employment and only 6% reported a decrease, as well as fourth quarter 2018, when 44 percent reported growth in employment and 9% reported a decrease compared with the previous year.
Figure 1: Revenues - Past Year
Figure2: Employment - Past Year