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Today’s Jobs Data: President Needs a Small Business Job Council

Washington,D.C. (PRESS RELEASE – August 11, 2011) – Reacting to today’s jobs data, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said President Obama needs to immediately change policy in a pro-growth direction. While July’s job numbers represent a sliver of good news, the economy and outlook remain rocky, at best.  According to Kerrigan, the President should consider replacing his current “jobs council” with small business owners and entrepreneurs to ensure he is hearing directly from those who will ultimately lead the nation back to strong levels of growth and job creation.

“The economy cannot build positive momentum with the meager number of jobs that are being created.  Small business owners have low confidence and a grim outlook because of the costly and expensive policies and regulations that are being advanced in Washington. Entrepreneurs and businesses will not add jobs just because the President’s job council says that the private sector must ‘do more’.  First and foremost, federal policies must encourage small business owners to do more by taking less of their resources.  If the President listened to small business owners on a regular basis, he would hear just this. Federal policies need a drastic overhaul,” said Kerrigan.

SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating observed that the string of bad economic news has overwhelmed the bit of good news on jobs.

“Even the unemployment rate dropping from 9.2% in June to 9.1% in July was based on negative trends,” said Keating.

On the positive side, the establishment survey showed private sector payroll growth of 154,000, with total nonfarm payrolls up by 117,000.  But for the third straight month, the civilian labor force declined – dropping by 193,000 in July. At the same time, employment fell by 38,000 in July – the second straight monthly drop and the third decline in four months.

“That combination of a bigger decline in the labor force relative to the fall off in employment meant that the unemployment rate actually inched down. But it was not due to anything positive,” added Keating.

Keating also noted that the labor force participation rate in July fell to 63.9% – the worst showing since May 1983 – and the employment-population ratio dropped to 58.1% -the worst since July 1983.

Keating concluded: “This continuing economic and employment mess makes clear that the policies of bailouts, massive increases in government spending, tax hikes,increased regulation, and loose monetary policy have accomplished nothing. In fact, they have imposed costs and uncertainties that have dragged the economy down. If serious about getting the economy and job creation back on track, then it’s time to leave behind such bankrupt policymaking.”

About the SBE Council

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


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