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SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® Shows Hiring Down Slightly

SurePayroll Inc., a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced November results for its monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® showing month-over-month hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was flat. Small-business owners' optimism sits at 60 percent, down 8 points from last month.

The Scorecard survey asked small-business owners across the country if, with the election settled, they felt more certain about the government’s ability to avoid the fiscal cliff, and 61 percent said, “No.”

“The sense I think many small-business owners have right now is that the government is either stalled or making only short-term decisions, rather than providing direction and leadership for the future,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “As business owners, they understand that sometimes you have to think short term, but not at the cost of a long-term solution. Until they see a more forward-thinking plan, they may continue to exercise caution.”

Month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data showed hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was flat. Hiring was down month-over-month in every region of the country except for the South, where it was up 0.1 percent. Paychecks were up month over month in the Midwest (0.3 percent) and South (0.1 percent), and down across the rest of the country.

Year over year, nationwide hiring is down only 1.4 percent and paychecks are down 1.3 percent. The South continues to show promising signs with hiring up 1.4 percent and paychecks down 0.7 percent. The West has had the steepest hiring decline at -4.9 percent, with paychecks down 0.8 percent. Hiring in the Midwest is down 2.1 percent and paychecks are up 1.3 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 1.7 percent and paychecks are down 4.8 percent.

As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look at national hiring and paycheck trends since September 2004. SurePayroll's Scorecard compiles data from more than 40,000 small businesses, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's "micro businesses" — those with an average of 8 employees.

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