The latest monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard shows that small business owners' optimism has rebounded to 70 percent, despite a slight drop in hiring and wages being flat. This is the first time optimism has reached the 70s since May 2011.
The survey, which is conducted by online payroll service provider SurePayroll Inc., also showed that 31 percent of small business owners have plans to hire employees during the rest of the year and 67 percent have plans to maintain their current employment levels. Of all the survey takers, only 2 percent responded with plans to reduce hiring in 2012. Almost 80 percent of respondents either met or exceeded their business expectations for the first quarter, a feat many attribute to their efforts to cut costs and an increase in demand for their services.
"Small businesses are seeing some demand rebounding in their businesses and very few are talking about a pullback in hiring. These are good signs for the future," said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. "Despite the lack of hiring, we want small businesses to continue the momentum they do have into the next quarter and beyond. Giving them every opportunity to grow by reducing the cost of doing business should open the door to increased hiring."
While many small business owners remain positive about their future employment plans, month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data revealed that regional hiring is down 0.2 percent, despite showing growth in February. The South remained flat. Wages were slightly up in the South and West and down in the Midwest and Northeast. Year-over-year, the South continues to show promising signs with hiring up 2 percent and wages up 0.6 percent.