Small business owners continue to hire and maintain employees at rates similar to last quarter and are continuing their recent pace of business activity, according to the most recent Business Confidence Survey released today by Insperity, Inc. (NYSE: NSP), a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions for America’s best businesses. More than 40 percent of respondents say they are adding employees, the same as in our April survey; 56 percent are maintaining current staffing levels versus 55 percent in April; and 4 percent are laying off employees, slightly below last quarter’s 5 percent.
Insperity also announced compensation metrics from its base of 5,500 small and medium-sized Workforce Optimization TM clients. Compared to the 2012 second quarter data, average compensation is up 2.8 percent and bonuses are down 1.2 percent. Average commissions received by worksite employees reflected an increase of 6.2 percent versus a 5.2 percent increase in the second quarter of 2012. Overtime pay is still low at 9.5 percent of regular pay, below the 10 percent level that generally indicates a need for additional employees, but up slightly from 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012.
In the survey, 72 percent of respondents said they are either meeting or exceeding their 2013 performance plans, down slightly from 74 percent in the last survey; meanwhile, 28 percent report that they are doing worse than expected, unchanged from the response in April. Concerning the timing of an economic rebound, 34 percent think one is currently in process versus 28 percent in April; 27 percent expect a rebound in the fourth quarter or later; and 38 percent said they are unsure, falling below the 40 percent mark for the first time in over a year.
“While many business owners continue to add workers and anticipate sales increases through year-end, the economic uncertainty of the last few years is becoming a regular part of forming and executing business plans,” said Paul J. Sarvadi, Insperity chairman and chief executive officer. “In facing this challenge, entrepreneurs are combining economic flexibility with strategic activity to meet current marketplace demands.”The overall economy still leads the list of short-term concerns of business owners, but at 50 percent compared to 62 percent in April and 72 percent last October. Rising health care costs were second on the list at 49 percent, and government health care reform fell to third at 43 percent from 51 percent last April, followed by hiring the right people, at 39 percent.