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Small business owners see a relatively bright future for 2014 after a year of uncertainty over the growth of the economy, health care reform and the government shutdown, according to the SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard for December. The survey found that 70 percent of small business owners were optimistic in December, up from 55 percent a year ago.
However, the survey found nationwide hiring edged down 0.1 percent month over month in December and down 1.7 percent compared to December 2012.
The number of 1099s or independent contractors hired by small businesses fell during the fourth quarter, and only 25 percent of those surveyed expect to hire more independent contractors in 2014 than they did in 2013, according to the report.
“The slowdown in the use of independent contractors suggests small business owners may look to invest more in full-time hires in the year ahead,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “More full-time hires means more stability and more dollars available to spend on Main Street, hopefully propelling our economy forward.”
SurePayroll’s Scorecard compiles data from more than 40,000 small businesses and exclusively reflects the trends affecting businesses with an average of eight employees.
SurePayroll Inc. provides online payroll services to small businesses. It is a subsidiary of Paychex Inc. (NASD: PAYX).