, a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced results for the February 2013 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard
showing month-over-month hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was up 0.1 percent. The average paycheck has increased for four consecutive months. Small-business owners' optimism sits at 59 percent, only two points higher than last month.
“We continue to see low optimism numbers due to a new wave of uncertainty for small-business owners,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “We thought we were moving past the uncertainty when we got through the fiscal cliff situation; however we’re getting hit with another wave. Economic conditions in Europe are shaky due to what’s happening in Italy and the downgrade of British debt, while here at home no one can agree on what, if any, fallout there will be from the sequester. Given this new tidal wave of uncertainty rushing in, I can’t blame small-business owners for playing it close to the vest.”
The Scorecard optimism survey also asked small business owners about the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Most (79 percent) said such an increase would not impact their plans to hire and 58 percent support the increase. However, 71 percent said it should be set by the states and 77 percent said they already pay their employees more than the minimum wage.
Month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data showed hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was up 0.1 percent. 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 across the country, including 0.4 percent in the Midwest; 0.1 percent in the Northeast; 0.1 percent in the South; and flat only in the West.