In the middle of a distressing government shutdown, uncertainty around health care reform seems to be impacting small business owners. Forty-three percent say they need more clarity on the Affordable Care Act before they feel comfortable hiring, according to our SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. Optimism among small business owners, meanwhile, has fallen to 59 percent, down from 72 percent last month.

Nationwide hiring was flat in September for small businesses, according to the Scorecard, and the average paycheck was down. It seems small business owners are being cautious with their spending until some of the uncertainty around health care is resolved.

Read our infographic below for the full report from September:

SP-Infographic-10-29-12

The SurePayroll Hiring and Paychecks Indices

National Results
Month Hiring Index Pay Index
September ’13 11,415 938
August ’13 11,414 942
July ’13 11,440 940
June ’13 11,454 942
May ’13 11,469 943
April ’13 11,505 944
March ’13 11,528 944
February ’13 11,550 945
January ’13 11,564 944
December ’12 11,576 938
November ’12 11,584 937
October ’12 11,601 937
September ’12 11,608 939
Regional Results
Midwest 
Month Hiring Index Pay Index
September ’13 10,664 949
August ’13 10,674 954
July ’13 10,709 954
June ’13 10,735 955
May ’13 10,763 954
April ’13 10,825 954
March ’13 10,871 951
February ’13 10,909 948
January ’13 10,932 945
December ’12 10,951 938
November ’12 10,960 936
October ’12 10,976 933
September ’12 10,992 931
Northeast 
Month Hiring Index Pay Index
September ’13 11,381 912
August ’13 11,403 917
July ’13 11,442 918
June ’13 11,477 923
May ’13 11,513 926
April ’13 11,583 929
March ’13 11,640 931
February ’13 11,687 933
January ’13 11,728 932
December ’12 11,771 923
November ’12 11,809 924
October ’12 11,842 927
September ’12 11,872 932
South
Month Hiring Index Pay Index
September ’13 12,382 956
August ’13 12,360 957
July ’13 12,377 954
June ’13 12,371 954
May ’13 12,364 954
April ’13 12,370 955
March ’13 12,356 951
February ’13 12,345 952
January ’13 12,330 952
December ’12 12,304 948
November ’12 12,269 949
October ’12 12,257 948
September ’12 12,223 949
West
Month Hiring Index Pay Index
September ’13 9,935 1,114
August ’13 9,931 1,119
July ’13 9,944 1,118
June ’13 9,956 1,120
May ’13 9,969 1,121
April ’13 9,983 1,123
March ’13 10,004 1,127
February ’13 10,031 1.128
January ’13 10,046 1,129
December ’12 10,077 1,124
November ’12 10,115 1,122
October ’12 10,155 1,122
September ’12 10,189 1,125

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SurePayroll provides online payroll services for small businesses across the nation. SurePayroll files and pays your taxes while you can focus on your business.