Life in Research Land has been very, very slow for a few months now, but, for at least a few minutes, that’s going to change. The big story in this month’s research is that the Census Bureau has released the nonemployer data for 2009 (which I have been eagerly awaiting, even if nobody else has).
But first …
Got jobs? ‘Fraid not.
A report out this month from the Kauffman Foundation warns that firms are starting smaller and staying smaller than is suggested by historical norms. The paper, entitled Starting Smaller; Staying Smaller: America’s Slow Leak in Job Creation, argues that “since the middle of the last decade and perhaps longer, the growth path and survival rate of new businesses mean they are generating fewer and fewer new jobs.”
For example, the set of firms that got their start in 2009 are on a path to create 1 million fewer jobs than might have been expected a generation ago. Of course, the firms that got their start in 2009 had that little recession problem to deal with, but presumably, the researchers at Kauffman took that into account.
The paper also had a stern word or two for folks like me who see the self-created jobs of nonemployers as a positive development that needs to be added into the statistical mix. That’s a false hope, says Kauffman. Those self-employed folks don’t make enough money and there isn’t enough work in the economy for the rise of nonemployers to get the job done — no pun intended.
Speaking of nonemployers…
Yes, fans, the new nonemployer numbers are out. The year is 2009 and, like everybody else in the economy, these nano-businesses were getting beaten up pretty badly that year.
For the second year in a row, the number of nonemployers declined a little, dropping from 21.3 million to 21.1 million. Overall revenues dropped by a painful 10 percent, down from $930 billion to $837 billion, while annual average receipts declined by almost $4,000, or 9 percent, from $43,645 to $39,723.
As far as the business population goes, the goods-producing sectors and the financial and real estate sectors are where most of the losses were concentrated. Services sectors continued adding firms, but not enough of them to make up for the carnage elsewhere.
Earnings is where the real pain was felt. There was not a single industry sector that did not experience a decline in receipts — again, no surprises there.