GLENVIEW, Ill., Aug. 31, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SurePayroll Inc., a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced August results for its monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® showing small business owners' optimism at 60 percent with hiring down 0.1 percent and paychecks down 0.2 percent. While July was the first time since February that hiring had not been negative for the month, August's data was slightly down again. The Scorecard optimism survey found that 82 percent of small business owners did not seek lending in 2012. Of those that did, only 32 percent had difficulty securing lending. "For a long time, the banks have taken a beating for not lending enough to small businesses, but this data suggests the banks may not be the problem," said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. "There's simply not enough demand in the economy. Many small businesses don't have a reason to spend. Those businesses that do aren't having a problem getting loans." Month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data shows hiring down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck down 0.2 percent. Hiring was down month-over-month in every region of the country except for the South, where it was up 0.2 percent. Paychecks were up month-over-month in the Midwest (0.6 percent) and down across the rest of the country. Year-over-year, nationwide hiring is down only 1.5 percent and paychecks are down 1.4 percent. The South continues to show promising signs with hiring up 1.3 percent. The West has had the steepest hiring decline at 5.1 percent. Hiring in the Midwest is down 2.1 percent and paychecks are down 0.7 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 1.7 percent and paychecks are down 3.6 percent. As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look on national hiring and paycheck trends since September 2004. SurePayroll's Scorecard compiles data from over 35,000 small businesses, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's "micro businesses" — those with an average of eight employees.