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Small Businesses See Economic Rebound But Move Cautiously, According to Insperity Survey
  • 41% plan to add new employees, up slightly from 39% in April
  • 54% maintain staffing levels, down from 57% last quarter
  • 56% expect sales increase in 2014, down from 60% previously
  • 36% unsure when to expect economic upturn versus 44% last survey
  • Overtime pay now indicating a need for more employees

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 14, 2014-- More small business owners think we are in an economic rebound and are indicating a slight uptick in business activity since the April survey, but are more conservative in adding new products and services, according to the most recent Business Confidence Survey released today by Insperity, Inc. (NYSE:NSP), a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions for America’s best businesses. Slightly more than 41 percent now plan to add employees compared to 39 percent in April and 50 percent in January; 54 percent are maintaining current staffing levels versus 57 percent last quarter and 47 percent in January; and nearly 5 percent are planning layoffs, compared to 4 percent in April.

Insperity also announced compensation metrics from its base of 5,300 small and medium-sized Workforce Optimization® clients. Average compensation for the second quarter of 2014 increased 1.6 percent over the second quarter of 2013, while bonuses were down 3.2 percent compared to the 2013 period. Average commissions received by worksite employees reflected a decrease of 2.0 percent versus a 6.2 percent increase in the second quarter of 2013. Overtime pay was 10.6 percent of regular pay, above the 10 percent level that generally indicates a need for additional employees, and up from 9.4 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

In the survey, 79 percent of respondents expect to meet or exceed the 2014 performance objectives they set in January, the same as in April but down from 92 percent in January; 21 percent expect to do worse in 2014, again matching the last survey but up sharply from 8 percent in January. Concerning the timing of an economic rebound, nearly 42 percent think one is currently in process versus 33 percent in April; 22 percent expect a rebound in the fourth quarter of 2014 or later, and 36 percent are unsure versus 44 percent in April.

Concerning their current profit-generating activities, 71 percent list selling new accounts and 66 percent cite increased service to existing clients, nearly the same as last quarter for each. This was followed by 46 percent who indicate adding new services or products, and 29 percent list investing in new improvements, both of which were down from April.

“Consensus for an economic rebound is building and overtime pay is now more than 10 percent. This would normally indicate a need for additional workers, but our latest survey reveals that business owners have not become aggressive in acting on that information,” said Paul J. Sarvadi, Insperity chairman and chief executive officer. “Small business may be awaiting further leading confirmation such as an increase in average commissions, which is remaining relatively low.”

The list of short-term concerns shifted somewhat, with hiring the right people now listed by 50 percent of respondents, while the economy dropped to second at 48 percent. Rising health care costs was third at 47 percent, while controlling overall operational costs moved into fourth place at 44 percent, displacing government health care reform. Government expansion again topped the list of long-term concerns at 57 percent; potential tax increases came in at 51 percent; the federal deficit at 50 percent; and the economy at 42 percent.

When asked about their pipelines for new business through 2014, 56 percent of survey respondents expected sales to increase, down from 60 percent in April and 66 percent in January; 33 percent anticipate no change versus 28 percent last quarter; 4 percent predict decreasing sales and 7 percent are unsure.

The survey results show that 28 percent plan to increase employee compensation, down from 29 percent in April and 46 percent in January; 62 percent plan to maintain compensation at current levels, up from 60 percent last quarter and 43 percent in January; 1 percent again expect decreases; and 9 percent are unsure.

Insperity conducted the survey July 8 – 10, 2014, of chief executive officers, chief financial officers and other executives in a variety of industries from its base of approximately 5,300 Workforce Optimization clients throughout the United States. The overall sampling error of the national survey is +/- 4.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2013 revenues of $2.3 billion, Insperity operates in 57 offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit

The statements contained herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws (Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). You can identify such forward-looking statements by the words “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “believes,” “estimates,” “likely,” “possibly,” “probably,” “goal,” “opportunity,” “objective,” “target,” “assume,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “predicts,” “appears,” “indicator” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. In the normal course of business, Insperity, Inc., in an effort to help keep our stockholders and the public informed about our operations, may from time to time issue such forward-looking statements, either orally or in writing. Generally, these statements relate to business plans or strategies, projected or anticipated benefits or other consequences of such plans or strategies, or projections involving anticipated revenues, earnings, unit growth, profit per worksite employee, pricing, operating expenses or other aspects of operating results. We base the forward-looking statements on our expectations, estimates and projections at the time such statements are made. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that we cannot predict. In addition, we have based many of these forward-looking statements on assumptions about future events that may prove to be inaccurate. Therefore, the actual results of the future events described in such forward-looking statements could differ materially from those stated in such forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are: (i) adverse economic conditions; (ii) regulatory and tax developments and possible adverse application of various federal, state and local regulations; (iii) the ability to secure competitive replacement contracts for health insurance and workers’ compensation contracts at expiration of current contracts; (iv) increases in health insurance costs and workers’ compensation rates and underlying claims trends, health care reform, financial solvency of workers’ compensation carriers, other insurers or financial institutions, state unemployment tax rates, liabilities for employee and client actions or payroll-related claims; (v) failure to manage growth of our operations and the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts; (vi) changes in the competitive environment in the PEO industry, including the entrance of new competitors and our ability to renew or replace client companies; (vii) our liability for worksite employee payroll, payroll taxes and benefits costs; (viii) our liability for disclosure of sensitive or private information; (ix) our ability to integrate or realize expected returns on our acquisitions; (x) failure of our information technology systems; and (xi) an adverse final judgment or settlement of claims against Insperity. These factors are discussed in further detail in Insperity’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Any of these factors, or a combination of such factors, could materially affect the results of our operations and whether forward-looking statements we make ultimately prove to be accurate.

Except to the extent otherwise required by federal securities law, we do not undertake any obligation to update our forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Source: Insperity, Inc.

Insperity, Inc.
Investor Relations Contact:
Douglas S. Sharp, 281-348-3232
Senior Vice President of Finance,
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
News Media Contact:
Jason Cutbirth, 281-312-3085
Senior Vice President of Marketing