The majority of small and midsize businesses in the U.S. are not seeing enough demand to expand their hiring this year, according to a new survey by Sage North America.

The Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey examined the hiring outlook of U.S. small and midsize businesses in 2013. Of the 973 businesses surveyed, 25 percent reported that they either have hired or will hire in 2013. The majority of businesses said they expect their staffing levels to remain the same in 2013 (47 percent), compared with 7 percent of respondents who said they expect to decrease their staff this year.

The survey also found that the biggest factor influencing whether an SMB has hired or will plan to hire is increased demand for its products or services (81 percent). On the other hand, the major factor influencing those companies that have not hired or are not planning to hire in 2013 is lack of demand for their 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 Sage Small Business Solutions executive vice president and general manager Connie Certusi in a statement. “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 expect to add full-time employees, compared to 29 percent that will hire part-time employees. Ten percent plan to hire contract workers, and 19 percent anticipate hiring seasonal workers. 

More findings from the survey can be found here.

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