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Friday, March 04, 2011

SBE Council Chief Economist on February Employment Numbers

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

"Finally, we have a month in which all of the major jobs numbers moved in a positive direction. The payroll survey showed employment up by 192,000 in February. Particularly interesting, the private sector added 222,000, while the public sector cut 30,000.

"Meanwhile, the household survey, which better captures start up and other small business activity, showed an employment gain of 250,000. And though the gain was small at 60,000, the labor force grew for the first time in several months.

"The U.S. economy obviously still has a long way to go in terms of economic growth, getting people back into the workforce, and the recovery of millions of lost jobs. But the February data at least offers hope that this thus-far pathetic recovery might be getting a bit of life.

"Of course, uncertainty persists regarding energy prices and public policy. Federal officials could help the economy and jobs by reeling in the size of government; providing permanent and substantial tax relief; moving from the recent era of hyper-regulation to deregulation; shifting from the absence of a trade policy to free trade; moving to a pro-exploration, pro-development energy agenda; and getting monetary policy focused on price stability."

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