Hiring at small businesses has increased in the last two months, according to the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index. The index, which analyzes hiring trends among companies with 300 or fewer employees, reported an increase of 1.66% during March and 0.25% in February.

Small businesses continue to be a main focus of headline news as political leaders and economic experts continue to stress that the small business owner is the driving force of the economy. The CBIZ results come on the heels of the ADP National Employment March report that showed 209,000 jobs were added to the private sector last month.

CBIZ Payroll Services manages payroll services for more than 3,000 businesses that each employ fewer than 300 people. The sample for the findings reflects a broad number of industries across the US.

Philip Noftsinger, business unit president for CBIZ Payroll Services said, “This is the highest month-over-month growth since June 2010, and represents a growing trend across the marketplace that employment is healing at all levels.”

The data also revealed that, of the companies surveyed, 28% reported an increase in employee headcount, 18% said that staffing had decreased, and 54% replied that employee count remained the same.

The CBIZ noted that April and May will be key months as consumer confidence, rising gas prices and this summer’s seasonal business activity are sure to play a direct role on the road to recovery.