SurePayroll Inc., a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced October results for its monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® showing month over month hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was down 0.2 percent. Small business owners' optimism returned to 68 percent, close to where it had hovered for most of the year. “The small business community isn’t placing any bets right now and it’s no wonder in this uncertain economic environment -- uncertainty often leads to inaction,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “Hopefully the election results will provide enough clarity around future fiscal and government policies which will spur small business to play their hiring and investment cards.” The Scorecard survey asked small business owners across the country about their plans for fourth quarter hiring. Overall, two-thirds of small business owners say they will not hire or increase wages for permanent employees. “The survey responses echo previous surveys showing that small business owners have learned to overcome these uncertain times by doing more with less and thus productivity has outpaced growth,” said Alter. Month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data shows hiring down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck down 0.2. Hiring was down month-over-month in every region of the country except for the South, where it was up 0.3 percent. Paychecks were up month-over-month in the Midwest (0.3 percent) and down across the rest of the country. Year-over-year, nationwide hiring is down only 1.5 percent and paychecks are down 1.3 percent. The South continues to show promising signs with hiring up 1.4 percent and paychecks down 0.8 percent. The West has had the steepest hiring decline at -4.9 percent, with paychecks down 0.6. Hiring in the Midwest is down 2.2 percent and paychecks are up at 0.9 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 2.2 percent and paychecks are down 4.4 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 40,000 small businesses, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's "micro businesses" — those with an average of eight employees.The full SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard infographic, which includes data for the top 35 MSAs, will be available later today at www.SurePayroll.com/scorecard. About SurePayroll SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex, providing an easy, online, convenient payroll service that keeps our more than 40,000 small business customers in control. SurePayroll also offers efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers’ compensation, employee screening and more. For accountants and banking partners, SurePayroll provides private-label and co-branded services that enable them to offer online payroll processing to their small business clients. The company has received numerous prestigious awards for its innovative technology, and outstanding customer service and sales teams, including recognition from PC Magazine, Accounting Today, the American Business Awards and many others. For more information, please visit www.SurePayroll.com. About Paychex Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers' compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 567,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2012. For more information about Paychex and our products, visit www.paychex.com.