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2017 Small Business Employee Concerns

Are employees emboldened or frightened by the potential changes from the new presidential administration? We asked over 500 small business employees to find out. The results might surprise you!

What will happen to your small business in 2017? While there is no crystal ball that can predict exact economic changes, it’s worth reflecting on the ways a new year could impact your business, industry, and the American and global markets. Do those thoughts excite or frighten you? Are you alone in these concerns, or do other businesses and business owners feel the same way?

We surveyed over 500 small business employees to understand their professional opinions on 2017. Are they emboldened by coming changes? Or perhaps they’re frightened by potential changes in policies from the new presidential administration. Read on to learn more.

Mr. Businessman (and President)

A chart depicting percentages of employees that think Trump's presidency will impact them. 31 percent said yes, for the worse. 27 percent said yes, for the better. 42 percent said no impact.

So how is our new president-elect going to affect the fate of small businesses?

We asked small business employees what they were most worried about in the coming year.

Of those employees we polled about how they think a Trump presidency could impact their job, slightly more said they thought their job would be worse under a Trump administration than those who thought it would be better. However, most respondents (just over 40 percent) said they didn’t think his presidency would affect them at all.

When it comes to his stance on certain policies, it’s too early to tell how much change we can expect with Trump at the helm, but some proposed adjustments have small businesses concerned. His positions on the environment could impact fossil fuel consumption, for instance. Other areas of focus under Trump’s administration, like foreign affairs and civil rights, were of the utmost concern for employees.

Worth the Professional Worry?

A bar chart that depicts what employees responded that they are most and least concerned with. Employees are most concerned about a lack of work-life balance, and least concerned the business going under.

The lack of work-life balance was a primary concern for 21.1 percent of our employee survey respondents. The ability to successfully separate time at work from one’s time at home allows employees and their bosses alike to successfully focus on both rather than blurring the lines and obscuring the balance.

Losing their jobs was another other top concern for more than 19 percent of employees.

Which Industries Worry?

A graphic that shows the break down of employees' top concern, bottom concern, and top Trump policy insecurity by industry.

Breaking down our survey participants by the industries in which they work, we found that concerns varied across different business types.

Employees who acknowledged being the most worried about their work-life balance worked in sectors like government and public administration, education, information services and data processing, and medical and health care. Those who said they felt concerned about losing their jobs were in marketing and advertising, wholesale and retail, or technology, while profit and sales were a concern for manufacturers, information service employees, and finance and insurance workers.

Respondents who felt their industry was the most secure were in fields like government, manufacturing, finance, and marketing. Interestingly, marketers and advertisers were also least worried about their company going under but still most worried about losing their job.

Trump policy changes regarding the environment made marketing and advertising, information services, wholesale and retail, and technology participants the most insecure, while social security was a key issue for government employees and those in health care–related fields.

Professional Peace of Mind

The small-business employees we surveyed told us what they’re most concerned about in the New Year. From their personal work-life balance to losing their jobs or worse, everyone had something on their minds about how a changing business climate might affect them or their company.

Help provide peace of mind for your team and your clients by utilizing Paychex for all your payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. We can even provide accounting professionals and financial advisors to make you a trusted advisor in your business sector. Visit us online today to learn more about what Paychex can do for you.


We surveyed 525 people in the U.S. who work at a company with 500 employees or less.

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.

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