The last few months haven’t been great for small businesses overall, but many have seen slow and steady improvements. As such, it seems that many were wary of bringing on more workers, but still felt comfortable enough in their positions to start paying their employees more every month.
For most of the early part of the year, small businesses typically cut their employees’ take-home pay or kept it more or less steady, but in the month of July, those numbers actually increased 0.2 percent, according to the latest Small Business Scorecard from SurePayroll. The latest data suggests that more than 3 in 5 such companies turned a profit in the first half of the year, and nearly 7 in 10 say they think their chances for success in the future are strong based on the small business economy overall.
Regionally, pay increases were most significant in the Midwest, where they averaged 0.4 percent, the report said. Those in the South climbed 0.2 percent, and in both the Northeast and West, they crept up 0.1 percent.
“Small business owners have done a great job maximizing their resources ever since the recession, and as they reap the profits from that, it appears they’re starting to reward employees with some extra cash,” said SurePayroll general manager Andy Roe. “Ultimately, what we want to see for the economy is more hiring, more growth and more people spending on Main Street. In the meantime, it’s encouraging to see the boost in the average paycheck, whether that’s from more opportunities for overtime, bonuses or raises.”
What about hiring?
Again, the number of new jobs created by small businesses took a bit of a step back, falling 0.2 percent across the country. However, that data was not uniform in all parts of the U.S., as hiring remained flat in the South, and only slipped 0.1 percent in the West. However, the biggest problems originated in the Midwest and Northeast, as hiring fell 0.4 percent in both those regions.
Owners who want to put their companies in the best positions to succeed going forward might want to do more to reduce their ongoing costs, such as finding more affordable small business insurance. For instance, by reducing expenses for general liability insurance, companies may be able to save thousands of dollars annually, which can then be devoted to other areas of more pressing need.