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Friday, December 04, 2009

SBE Council Chief Economist on November Jobs Data and the Economy

Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), issued the following statement on the November jobs data:

“While continuing job losses are never good news, the dramatic slowdown in the decline in payrolls – a loss of 11,000 in November – offers some hope. And the increase in employment via the household survey – the first since April – provides additional hope, though that survey is highly volatile from month to month.

“At the same time, there is much to still cause worry. For example, private sector payrolls declined by 18,000 in November. And over the past two months, government payrolls advanced by 53,000. We need private sector economic growth and job creation, not a bigger government sector that crowds out private activity. In addition, it’s striking that the labor force continued to shrink in November, a decline of 98,000. Discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force have kept the official unemployment rate lower than it otherwise would be.

“Given the poor environment right now for entrepreneurs and small businesses to create jobs – especially given anti-growth federal policy initiatives, like looming tax increases, big government health care, and costly climate change legislation –an underperforming recovery in terms of growth and jobs remains the most likely scenario for the economy for some time into the future.”

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