Optimism among small business owners increased since the previous month, according to SurePayroll’s Small Business Scorecard for February 2011, reaching 71 percent in February 2011.

That percentage represents is an increase of 12 percent since January 2010, a figure that hasn’t been seen since August 2009. Hiring, however, has decreased 1.4 percent year-to-date, or 0.9 percent month-over-month, and salary per check increased by 0.4 percent year-to-date.

Despite the slight decrease in hiring, more small businesses were optimistic this month as they began to see growth in their businesses, according to the payroll-processing company. However, that hiring decrease, combined with increased commodity prices and uncertainly around government budget cuts, will continue to drive less spending. According to the Commerce Department, consumer spending was down to 0.2 percent growth in January versus 0.7 percent in December.

“Our economy is in a fragile state of recovery,” said SurePayroll president and CEO Michael Alter.
SurePayroll’s Small Business Scorecard for February 2011, with national and regional data, is available at http://www.surepayroll.com/scorecard.

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