The Jobs Report and Small Business

Washington, D.C.  (PRESS RELEASE – January 12, 2011) – Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), issued the following statement on the December jobs data:

“There was good news and bad news in today’s jobs report. On the good news front, positive job growth continued according to the payroll survey, with the economy adding 103,000 jobs in December, including 113,000 from the private sector. While the report showed fewer job gains than expected by the market, the payroll survey indicates that employment has been up for three straight months.

“But the story is more mixed in terms of the household survey, which better captures start-up and small business activity. While December employment rose by 297,000, the labor force actually dropped by 260,000. That’s basically a wash. As for the trend, from their 2010 highs in April, December’s labor force was down by 830,000, and employment declined by 176,000. People quitting the labor force is most troubling.

“Finally, regarding the level of entrepreneurship, the number of non-agricultural self-employed has fallen for three straight months – by a total of 79,000 – and from December 2009 to December 2010, the number of self-employed declined by 336,000. Falling entrepreneurship creates problems now and in the future.

“Public policy has been the major negative, where uncertainty has hampered confidence, entrepreneurship, and investment over the past three years. If we now move into a period of political gridlock, that may be an improvement. However, assorted negatives, such as major costs under ObamaCare and financial overhaul are being phased in.  Uncertainty continues to loom on tax and monetary policies. Until fixed, those costs and uncertainties will translate into uneven and under-performing economic growth and job creation.”

About the SBE Council

The SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit small business advocacy group that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.

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