Small Business Optimism Reaches 70 Percent for First Time Since Last Spring
The SurePayroll® Small Business Scorecard Shows Hiring Slightly Down, but Survey Reveals More Positives
GLENVIEW, IL —March 30, 2012 — SurePayroll Inc., the leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced March results for its monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® showing small business owners' optimism at 70 percent, despite a slight drop in hiring and wages being flat. This is the first time optimism has reached the 70s since May 2011.
The SurePayroll Scorecard’s optimism survey also showed 31 percent plan to hire during the remainder of the year, and 67 percent plan to maintain their current employment level. Only 2 percent plan to reduce hiring. Nearly 80 percent described their first quarter of business as meeting or exceeding expectations, largely due to an increase in demand for their services, as well as some cost cutting. They said a reduction in the cost of doing business (i.e. taxes, insurance costs, gas prices) would be most helpful in continuing their momentum into the second quarter.
“Small businesses are seeing some demand rebounding in their businesses and very few are talking about a pullback in hiring. These are good signs for the future,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “Despite the lack of hiring, we want small businesses to continue the momentum they do have into the next quarter and beyond. Giving them every opportunity to grow by reducing the cost of doing business should open the door to increased hiring.”
Meanwhile, month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data shows hiring down slightly (-0.2) and average paychecks being flat. Month-over-month regional hiring is slightly down after showing some growth in February, with only the South remaining flat. Wages regionally were slightly up in the South and West, and down slightly down in the Midwest and Northeast.
Year-over-year, the South continues to show promising signs with hiring up 2 percent and wages up 0.6 percent.
As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look on national hiring and wage trends since September 2004. SurePayroll's Scorecard compiles data from over 35,000 small businesses, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's "micro businesses" — those with an average of eight employees. The full SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard including data for the top 35 MSAs is available at www.SurePayroll.com.
SurePayroll, The Online Alternative, is dedicated to providing a convenient and easy-to-use small business payroll service that keeps business owners in control. More than 35,000 customers rely on SurePayroll to process payroll on demand in as few as two minutes. In addition, SurePayroll offers efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers' compensation, employee screening and more. For accountants and banking partners, SurePayroll provides private-label and co-branded services that enable them to offer online payroll processing to their small business clients. The company has received numerous prestigious awards for its innovative technology, and outstanding customer service and sales teams, including recognition from PC Magazine, Accounting Today, the American Business Awards and many others. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, please visit www.SurePayroll.com.
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers' compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 564,000 payroll clients nationwide as of May 31, 2011. For more information about Paychex and our products, visit www.paychex.com.