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Small Business Optimism Holds Steady

The SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard shows hiring and wages essentially flat

GLENVIEW, IL — January 31, 2012 — SurePayroll®, the leader in providing easy online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced January results for its monthly SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® showing small business owners' optimism about the economy is holding steady. SurePayroll's Small Business Scorecard optimism score inched up to 65 percent this month from 63 percent in December. Optimism has grown steadily since its low at only 33 percent in September.

Month over Month, SurePayroll Scorecard data shows a hiring decline of -0.2 percent with wages holding flat. The South is the only region showing slight positive growth in both hiring (0.1 percent) and wages (0.3 percent) since last month. The rest of the country was again in the red, aside from flat wages (0.0 percent) in the West.

SurePayroll President and CEO Michael Alter said the upcoming presidential election has small business owners wondering which direction the country will go in. In addition, a combination of uncertainty about Greece and the Euro, the U.S. economy not growing as much as previously thought and gridlock in Washington has put the brakes on the small business economy.

"It's frustrating to see us shift back into neutral," Alter said. "There was a lot of excitement heading into 2012. We were finally starting to accelerate; there was a lot of optimism about the future. To see this shift is frustrating, but like small business owners, I'm still hopeful because one month doesn't make a year. We just need the right opportunities for growth."

As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look on national hiring and wage trends since September 2004. SurePayroll's Scorecard compiles data from over 35,000 small businesses, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's "micro businesses" - those with an average of eight employees. The full SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard including data for the top 35 MSAs is available at

About SurePayroll

SurePayroll, The Online Alternative, is dedicated to providing a convenient and easy-to-use small business payroll service that keeps business owners in control. Over 30,000 customers rely on SurePayroll to process payroll on demand in as few as two minutes. In addition, SurePayroll offers efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers' compensation, employee screening and more. For accountants and banking partners, SurePayroll provides private-label and co-branded services that enable them to offer online payroll processing to their small business clients. The company has received numerous prestigious awards for its innovative technology, and outstanding customer service and sales teams, including recognition from PC Magazine, Accounting Today, the American Business Awards and many others. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, please visit

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers' compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 536,000 payroll clients nationwide as of May 31, 2010. For more information about Paychex and our products, visit

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