Payroll service provider SurePayroll reported Friday that optimism among small business owners declined slightly in August, with 60 percent of the small business owners it surveyed feeling optimistic about the economy, compared to 62 percent last month, with both hiring and average paycheck size declining as well.

Month over month hiring declined 0.1 percent, while the average paycheck size fell 0.2 percent. Nationwide, year over year hiring was down 1.5 percent and paycheck size down 1.4 percent.

The SurePayroll optimism survey also found that among the respondents, 82 percent of small business owners did not seek lending this year. Of those who did, only 32 percent had a hard time getting a loan. 

“For a long time, the banks have taken a beating for not lending enough to small businesses, but this data suggests the banks may not be the problem,” said SurePayroll CEO and president Michael Alter in a statement. “There’s simply not enough demand in the economy. Many small businesses don’t have a reason to spend. Those businesses that do aren’t having a problem getting loans.” 

Hiring was down month over month in every region of the country except the South, where it increased 0.2 percent. Paychecks were up month over month in the Midwest by 0.6 percent and down across the rest of the country.

The South continues to show promising signs with hiring increasing 1.3 percent. The West has had the steepest hiring decline at 5.1 percent. Hiring in the Midwest is down 2.1 percent and paycheck size declined 0.7 percent. In the Northeast, hiring is down 1.7 percent and paychecks are down 3.6 percent.

For more information on the results for specific areas of the country, visit

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