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Human Resources & Payroll

Survey: Majority of SMBs don’t see ‘justification’ for increased hiring in 2013

One-fifth of SMBs reported that the Affordable Care Act will negatively influence their hiring decisions

IRVINE, Calif. – The new survey of small business owners has found that 25 percent reported that they either have hired or will hire in 2013. The majority of businesses, however, stated that they expect their staffing levels to remain the same in 2013 (47 percent). This compares with 7 percent of respondents who said they will decrease their staff in 2013.

The Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey, commissioned by Sage North America, examined the hiring outlook of U.S. small and midsized businesses in 2013.

It also found that the biggest factor influencing whether an SMB has hired or will plan to hire – perhaps not surprisingly – is increased demand for its products or services (81 percent). Conversely, the biggest factor influencing those companies that have not hired or are not planning on hiring in 2013 is lack of demand for its products or services (40 percent). Other factors influencing businesses to decrease or to keep the same size of workforce include: economic outlook uncertainty (39 percent), non-healthcare-related costs of doing business (26 percent) and uncertainty in Washington (20 percent).

“If you ask small or midsized business owners, they will tell you that demand is one of the primary drivers behind many of their business decisions, including hiring, and the Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey highlights this sentiment,” said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager at Sage Small Business Solutions.

“In previous Sage surveys, small and midsized businesses have repeatedly reported that taxes and regulations are a roadblock for their business growth. However, what this survey indicates is that while taxes and regulations are factors that influence hiring, the number-one driver is a demand for products and services or lack thereof. Uncertainty in Washington, the Affordable Care Act, the minimum wage increase and other issues are secondary.”

Of those companies that have hired or are planning on hiring this year, 82 percent will staff with full-time employees, compared to 29 percent of which will hire part-time employees. Ten percent plan to hire contract workers, and 19 percent plan to hire seasonal workers. 

The survey was conducted by Sage in May 2013, and the margin of error is +/- 3 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.

The full findings of the Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey can be found here.