, a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced results for the
August 2013 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard®
showing optimism remaining at 72 percent, up from a year-over-year low of 45 percent in September 2012. Month-over-month hiring was down 0.2 percent in August and the average paycheck was up 0.2 percent.
Results from the Scorecard survey indicate that nearly one in five small business owners are more likely to hire an independent contractor today than a full-time employee. While 40 percent still would prefer a full-time employee, 38 percent are not looking to hire at all.
“It’s a fairly dramatic change in the small business mindset we’re seeing,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “Ten years ago, if you had told me almost one in five small business owners were more likely to hire a contractor than a full-time employee, I would have been shocked. However, now it’s become much more common.”
Of those more likely to hire independent contractors, 75 percent said it was because they simply don’t need a full-time person to fulfill specialized roles in areas such as marketing, information technology or administrative work. Thirty-six percent also said hiring independent contractors reduces the tax and benefits costs.
“My concern is this is a further indicator of our jobless recovery, as small business owners are less likely than they have been in the past to hire for the long term,” Alter said. “It doesn’t bode well for stability and growth in the workplace.”
Year over year, nationwide hiring is down 1.8 percent and paychecks are up 0.3 percent, indicating slightly higher pay or more hours for existing workers. Year over year, the South is the only region where hiring is up at 1.2 percent and paychecks there are up 1.0 percent. The West shows a hiring decline of 3.0 percent, with paychecks down 0.6 percent. Hiring in the Midwest is down 3.2 percent and paychecks are positive, up 3.0 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 4.1 percent and paychecks are down 1.9 percent.