Small Businesses Less Optimistic About The Economy Pending Election Outcomes, Says Insperity Survey

Small business owners are increasingly concerned about business prospects compared to last quarter, 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. Over 30 percent of respondents are now saying they are doing worse than expected compared to what they projected at the beginning of 2012, a 25 percent increase from last quarter; while 69 percent said they are meeting or exceeding their earlier 2012 performance plans, down 6 percent from March. More than 45 percent are now unsure about the timing of an economic rebound compared to 40 percent in the previous quarter.

Insperity also announced compensation metrics from its base of more than 5,700 small and medium-sized Workforce Optimization TM clients. Compared to the 2011 second quarter data, average compensation is up 1.9 percent, and bonuses are up 4.7 percent. Average commissions received by worksite employees reflected an increase of 5.2 percent versus a 2.6 percent increase in the first quarter of 2012. Overtime pay is still low, running 9.3 percent of regular pay, under the 10 percent level that generally indicates a need for additional employees, but up from 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

In the survey conducted July 17-19, when asked how they are managing the number of company employees, 28 percent said they are adding new positions, down from 38 percent in the prior quarter; 65 percent are maintaining current staffing levels, versus 56 percent in March; and 7 percent are laying off employees, up from 6 percent in the prior quarter.

“Increasing economic uncertainty in the face of the 2012 national election is forcing many owners of small and medium-sized businesses to scale back the somewhat optimistic plans they formulated at the start of this year,” said Paul J. Sarvadi, Insperity’s chairman and chief executive officer. “These businesses can react to economic changes more quickly than larger firms, but they have not seen the positive signs that justify solid business expansion.”

The economy remained the leading short-term concern listed by 74 percent of business owners, up from 68 percent last March; government health care reform jumped from 44 percent to more than 52 percent to take second place; rising health care costs was cited by 46 percent versus 49 percent previously; and controlling overall operating costs dropped to 34 percent from 46 percent. For the longer-term, the top responses were led by more than 67 percent saying they were either very concerned or had elevated concerns about government expansion and its effect on business; and 66 percent designated the federal deficit and the total national debt, as well as potential tax increases, up from 60 percent last quarter. Concerns for the economy rose to 65 from 57 percent in March.

When asked about their pipelines for new business through 2012, 51 percent of survey respondents said that they expect a sales increase, down from the 56 percent reported in March; 36 percent predicted it will stay the same; 9 percent anticipated decreasing sales, up from 5 percent last quarter; and 5 percent were again unsure.

In addition, 69 percent of owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses said that they are either meeting or exceeding their 2011 performance plans, down from 75 percent in the last survey; while 31 percent reported that they are doing worse than expected, a sharp increase from 24 percent in March.

The survey also said that 66 percent of participants expected to maintain employee compensation at current levels throughout 2012, versus 62 percent in March; 19 percent planned increases, down from 23 percent in the last survey; 2 percent expected decreases; and 12 percent were unsure.

Concerning their current profit-generating activities, 69 percent listed increased service to existing clients; and 68 percent of respondents named selling new accounts as the leading strategy, down from 73 percent last March. This was followed by 48 percent saying they were adding new services or products; and 31 percent listing negotiating with vendors.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 25 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity TM Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive Workforce Optimization TM solution in the marketplace that delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity. Additional offerings include MidMarket Solutions TM, Performance Management, Expense Management, Time and Attendance, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2011 revenues of $2 billion, Insperity operates in 56 offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.insperity.com.

The statements contained herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws (Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). You can identify such forward-looking statements by the words “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “believes,” “estimates,” “likely,” “possibly,” “probably,” “goal,” “opportunity,” “objective,” “target,” “assume,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “predicts,” “appears,” “indicator” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. In the normal course of business, Insperity, Inc., in an effort to help keep our stockholders and the public informed about our operations, may from time to time issue such forward-looking statements, either orally or in writing. Generally, these statements relate to business plans or strategies, projected or anticipated benefits or other consequences of such plans or strategies, or projections involving anticipated revenues, earnings, unit growth, profit per worksite employee, pricing, operating expenses or other aspects of operating results. We base the forward-looking statements on our expectations, estimates and projections at the time such statements are made. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that we cannot predict. In addition, we have based many of these forward-looking statements on assumptions about future events that may prove to be inaccurate. Therefore, the actual results of the future events described in such forward-looking statements could differ materially from those stated in such forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are: (i) continued effects of the economic recession and general economic conditions; (ii) regulatory and tax developments and possible adverse application of various federal, state and local regulations; (iii) the ability to secure competitive replacement contracts for health insurance and workers’ compensation contracts at expiration of current contracts; (iv) increases in health insurance costs and workers’ compensation rates and underlying claims trends, health care reform, financial solvency of workers’ compensation carriers, other insurers or financial institutions, state unemployment tax rates, liabilities for employee and client actions or payroll-related claims; (v) failure to manage growth of our operations and the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts; (vi) changes in the competitive environment in the PEO industry, including the entrance of new competitors and our ability to renew or replace client companies; (vii) our liability for worksite employee payroll, payroll taxes and benefits costs; (viii) our liability for disclosure of sensitive or private information; (ix) our ability to integrate or realize expected returns on our Adjacent Business strategy, including acquisitions; and (x) an adverse final judgment or settlement of claims against Insperity. These factors are discussed in further detail in Insperity’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Any of these factors, or a combination of such factors, could materially affect the results of our operations and whether forward-looking statements we make ultimately prove to be accurate.

Except to the extent otherwise required by federal securities law, we do not undertake any obligation to update our forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

If you liked this article you might like

These 10 Stocks Are Helping Drive the Market Rally Monday

These 10 Stocks Are Helping Drive the Market Rally Monday

Market Recon: Another Fed Meeting Beckons

Market Recon: Another Fed Meeting Beckons

Market Recon: The Foundation Is Laid to Support This Rally

Market Recon: The Foundation Is Laid to Support This Rally

Ranking the Activists for Proxy Season 2016

Ranking the Activists for Proxy Season 2016

Insperity (NSP) Stock Plummets on Q2 Revenue Miss

Insperity (NSP) Stock Plummets on Q2 Revenue Miss