EMPLOYERS® National Poll Reveals Economic Outlook Improving for America’s Small Businesses, Yet Growth Remains a Challenge

RENO, Nev. – May 2, 2011 –The majority of small business decision-makers across the country (69 percent) report business worries keep them up at night, according to the Small Business Opinion Poll commissioned by EMPLOYERS®, America’s small business insurance specialist®. Common concerns include the economy, figuring out how they can grow/maintain their business, operating expenses and rising fuel prices.

While the national poll indicates that nearly half (46 percent) of small business decision-makers expect a better economic outlook in 2011 (a significant improvement compared to 25 percent in Dec. 2008), the majority show guarded optimism regarding revenue and hiring plans over the next six months. And although the decision-makers expect revenues to grow and are optimistic about the U.S. business outlook, the majority (51 percent) believe it will be more than 12 months before their sales revenues return to pre-recession levels, a significant decline compared to March 2010 results (39 percent who said it would be 12 months until their revenues return to pre-recession levels).

EMPLOYERS Small Business Opinion Poll Snapshot:

“Although the economy continues to show signs of strengthening, the latest EMPLOYERS Small Business Opinion Poll indicates it’s still a rough environment for America’s Main Street businesses as we move into the second quarter,” said Douglas D. Dirks, president and chief executive officer of Employers Holdings, Inc. “It’s encouraging to see that small businesses are more optimistic about the 2011 economic climate, but disappointing that the majority of them still aren’t confidant enough to begin adding new jobs in the near-term – which is a far more important economic indicator. Small businesses are the innovators and job creators our economy needs to realize significant economic growth and EMPLOYERS encourages policymakers to continue focusing on providing small businesses with the environment they need to grow and succeed.”

About the Small Business Opinion Poll

The study commissioned by EMPLOYERS surveyed 501 owners or managers of small businesses with 1-99 full-time employees. Data was collected through telephone interviews during the period February 23 – March 1, 2011 at the 95 percent confidence level. The sample is stratified across business size and industry grouping, including manufacturing/construction, transportation/ communication, wholesale/retail, financial services, or personal/professional services businesses. The survey was conducted by ORC International, an Infogroup company through their Small Business CARAVAN.

Contact Information

Media Contact: Lauren Meckstroth, The Abbi Agency
(775) 446-4678 or lauren@theabbiagency.com

Company Contact: Mike Paquette
(775) 327-2562 or mpaquette@employers.com

Investor Relations Contact: Adam Prior, The Equity Group, Inc.
(212) 836-9606 or aprior@equityny.com

About Employers Holdings, Inc.

EMPLOYERS® and America’s small business insurance specialist® are registered trademarks of EIG Services, Inc. Employers Holdings, Inc. is a holding company with subsidiaries that are specialty providers of workers’ compensation insurance and services focused on select, small businesses engaged in low-to-medium hazard industries. The Company operates throughout the United States, with the exception of four states that are served exclusively by their state funds. Insurance is offered through Employers Insurance Company of Nevada, Employers Compensation Insurance Company, Employers Preferred Insurance Company, Employers Assurance Company and Cerity Insurance Company, all rated A- (Excellent) by the A.M. Best Company. Not all companies do business in all jurisdictions. See employersstage.wpengine.com and www.cerity.com for coverage availability.