By Claire Cleveland
A month-over-month increase of 0.1 percent, though seemingly small, is an improvement for so-called micro businesses.
By comparison, hiring among the smallest of businesses – those with one to 10 employees, often referred to as micro businesses – has been flat or down over the course of 2014.
A new survey by SurePayroll shows that these very small businesses are getting more optimistic about the employment climate. Seventy percent said they are optimistic, compared to just 54 percent four years ago.
Modest increases in small business hiring are “not a trend yet, but it’s a step in the right direction," said SurePayroll General Manager Andy Roe. “We’ve seen small businesses grow their profitability using technology and innovation; now hopefully we’re starting to see them grow their staffs a bit more."
The survey revealed that 22 percent of respondents are more likely to hire an independent contractor than a full-time worker; 37 percent of those more likely to hire contractors said it is easier to assign a specific task to a 1099 than to develop a full-time position. Seventy-three percent of those more likely to hire full-time employees said it was because they wanted someone committed to their business. Thirty-six percent said they are not looking to hire.
“What’s happening right now is you have a lot of skilled people available to do freelance on an as-needed basis. It allows small businesses to get some really good work from qualified people with very specific expertise, without having to pay the costs of having an employee," said Roe.