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Paychex's Business Sentiment Report Finds Businesses Optimistic

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Paychex's Business Sentiment Report Finds Businesses Optimistic

Paychex's Business Sentiment Report Finds Businesses Optimistic

Paychex released data from its first Business Sentiment Report, which finds that business owners are generally optimistic about their business outlook and their ability to find new customers, as well as the state of the Nation's economy.

The data comes from a survey conducted online during the second half of June, among 500 randomly-selected principals of companies in the U.S., with between one and 500 employees. The survey results are representative of how small business owners feel on a scale of one to 100, with one being the pessimistic side of the spectrum.

Business owners rated their current business outlook overall as 65 out of 100, while they rated their ability to find new customers at 69 out of 100. For comparison, they rated access to capital at 62, the current U.S. economy at 60, and their ability to make capital investments like technology and equipment at 59.

Paychex President and CEO Martin Mucci commented, "Our data confirms the fact that business owners are feeling positive about their prospects for success in the current environment, which is good news for both entrepreneurs and customers. Perhaps most notably, business owners seem to be feeling good about the economy and their ability to access capital. It will be interesting to watch these data points over time – but for now, the market is doing well, investments are happening, and business owners are mostly optimistic about their prospects for growth."

Mucci mentioned that his company's employees, who talk with clients and prospects, say businesses are "feeling the crunch of the tight labor market" and that there is "fierce competition for talent among both small and large employers."

According to the survey's findings, business owners are less optimistic about whether they'll be hiring or raising wages. They're just shy of neutral (48 out of 100) about raising wages. When it comes to hiring, owners rated both full-time and part-time employees at 31 each. The outlook is much more grim for temporary or contract workers at 16. This is somewhat surprising given the constant hype around the "gig economy," which sees more and more workers opting to work on a contract basis as opposed to full- or part-time work.

While many business owners have been optimistic about regulations during the Trump administration, the Paychex report indicates that there is still significant concern, and regulations top the list of today's challenges. Respondents indicated that concern about keeping up and complying with regulations at the state and federal levels were tied at the top. Local regulations came in third.

Mucci says that, while the Trump administration does continue to promote a "deregulated business environment," many state governments are taking action in response, with a "new wave” of employer regulations as a result.

The overall optimism among business owners has been reflected in other surveys. By some accounts, it is currently at a record high.