SurePayroll Inc., a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced results for the February 2013 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard ® showing month-over-month hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was up 0.1 percent. The average paycheck has increased for four consecutive months. Small-business owners' optimism sits at 59 percent, only two points higher than last month. “We continue to see low optimism numbers due to a new wave of uncertainty for small-business owners,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “We thought we were moving past the uncertainty when we got through the fiscal cliff situation; however we’re getting hit with another wave. Economic conditions in Europe are shaky due to what’s happening in Italy and the downgrade of British debt, while here at home no one can agree on what, if any, fallout there will be from the sequester. Given this new tidal wave of uncertainty rushing in, I can’t blame small-business owners for playing it close to the vest.” The Scorecard optimism survey also asked small business owners about the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. Most (79 percent) said such an increase would not impact their plans to hire and 58 percent support the increase. However, 71 percent said it should be set by the states and 77 percent said they already pay their employees more than the minimum wage. Month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data showed hiring was down 0.1 percent and the average paycheck was up 0.1 percent. Hiring was down month over month in every region of the country except for the South, where it was up 0.1 percent. Paychecks were up month over month across the country, including 0.4 percent in the Midwest; 0.1 percent in the Northeast; 0.1 percent in the South; and flat only in the West.
Year over year, nationwide hiring is down 1.4 percent and paychecks have moved back up to flat. Year over year, the South is the only region where hiring is up at 1.7 percent and paychecks there are down 0.2 percent. The West shows a hiring decline of 4.4 percent, with paychecks flat. Hiring in the Midwest is down 2.1 percent and paychecks are positive, up 3.3 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 2.4 percent and paychecks are down 2.6 percent.As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look at national hiring and paycheck trends since September 2004. SurePayroll's Scorecard compiles data from more than 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 includes data for the top 35 MSAs. The February 2013 Scorecard is available now on the SurePayroll blog. 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.