Small business owners have led the U.S. out of previous economic downturns, but it’s not working out that way this time around. An August 19 Wall Street Journal article, which reported on jobs data released the previous day, wrote “Businesses with fewer than 50 employees accounted for 61.8% of all job cuts in the private sector in the fourth quarter, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, while they created 54.1% of new jobs.”
Business of all sizes slashed a net 200,000 jobs in the fourth quarter (adding 6.6 million jobs and shedding 6.8 million.)
The piece continued:
“Companies with 50 to 249 workers made 17.8% of all job cuts in the fourth quarter, and nearly the same percentage of job gains. Midsize companies, with 250 to 999 employees, added 9.9% of new jobs and accounted for 10% of job losses.
The largest companies, those with 1,000 or more employees, hired a larger share of workers than they let go. These firms, which employ about 38% of all workers, accounted for 18.3% of all job gains versus 17.7% of job losses.”
As I said in a media release last week in response to the hike in jobless claims, which was the basis for a story in The Hill newspaper about the failure of the President’s economic policies:
"There is little to no confidence among small business owners that Washington knows what it is doing, or understands how business functions. The relentless push for higher taxes and intrusive regulation in every sector of our economy is the reason why this recession will be prolonged. On top of a host of misguided policies that are punishing job creation and investment, we have a dangerous spending mentality that threatens U.S. competitiveness and mid to long-term economic growth. The size and scope of government is becoming a major drag on our economy."
Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration had an opportunity to implement the policy ideas and needs of small business owners. They did the exact opposite. Unfortunately, the bad news will keep pouring in and may get worse if their tax hikes, cap-and-trade bill and additional spending programs are enacted. Washington needs to stop burdening small businesses and the private sector. Congressional leaders and the President are crushing the resourcefulness of our entrepreneurs.
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO