NU Online News Service, Oct. 15, 2003, 5:27 p.m. EDT – Small businesses that plan to hire new employees over the next six months are more likely than other small businesses to offer life insurance and other types of employee benefits, according to survey results released by American Express Company, New York.

Researchers interviewed 787 owners and managers of businesses with fewer than 100 employees over the telephone for American Express in September.

The researchers found that the percentage of small businesses that are planning to hire has increased to 34%, up from 26% a year ago.

Eighteen percent of the small businesses are looking for full-time workers, and 16% are looking for part-time workers.

In the North Central states, 29% of the participating businesses are hiring. Thirty-three percent of the small businesses in the Northeast and the South are hiring, and 42% of the businesses in the West are hiring.

Twenty-three percent of the small businesses that are hiring provide life insurance benefits, and 21% have profit-sharing plans.

Only 18% of the other small businesses provide life insurance, and only 12% have profit-sharing plans.

Participating small businesses that are hiring are also about 20% to 25% more likely than other participating businesses to offer paid vacations, paid holidays and flexible work hours.