For some time now, the economic recovery has been putting millions of small businesses across the country in better standing, and many entrepreneurs believe that trend is going to continue for some time to come. As a result, it seems that the nation’s smallest companies are once again bringing on more workers – potentially in anticipation of the holiday rush.
Small businesses with between 1 and 10 employees brought on more workers in November, and as a result hiring increased 0.1 percent nationwide on a monthly basis, according to the latest SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. That was the first time since August that a month-over-month improvement occurred, but when compared to the same period last year, hiring was still down 0.6 percent.
These days, the vast majority of owners say that they’re optimistic about the future of their companies, with 65 percent responding this way, the report said. That number was down from 75 percent in August, and 70 percent in May. It was also down a little, but more in line with the 69 percent observed in February.
Further, companies continue to cut the amount they pay their employees, with the amount doled out per paycheck dropping 0.4 percent on a monthly basis, and 1.7 percent annually, the report said. On the other hand, though, 52 percent of owners polled said that they plan on giving their workers holiday bonuses, and some 90 percent of those who are doing so say that they’re either keeping them the same size as last year, or increasing them.
Fewer than 2 in 5 owners said that they thought macro-economic factors would have a negative impact on the size of those bonuses, the report said. That’s more or less even with the bonuses expected during the 2013 holiday season. Finally, the number of companies using 1099s for their workers came in at 6.57 percent, up slightly from the 6.54 percent seen six months earlier, and 6.68 percent last November.
Owners who want to set their companies and employees up for more success down the road might want to consider the benefits of cutting other costs, including those for small business insurance. For instance, if they can cut their costs for errors and omissions insurance, they might be able to save thousands of dollars that can then be put toward other aspects of the company.