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Friday, May 06, 2011

SBE Council Chief Economist on April Jobs Numbers

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

"Many Americans will pick their preferred thoroughbred in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby. Today, small business owners and investors need to pick their preferred government survey to figure out which direction employment is going.

"The establishment survey, which covers larger, more established firms, indicated that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 in April, with the private sector adding 268,000. Some welcome good news.

"However, the household survey, which better captures start up and small business activity, pointed to a decline of 190,000 in jobs in April. For good measure, the labor force was effectively unchanged. This survey also showed that both the labor force participation rate (64.2% in April) and the employment-population ratio (58.4% in April) continue to linger at 27-year lows. None of this is good news.

"I'm unfortunately betting on the household survey. Surveys continue to show a great deal of uncertainty among small business owners, and in turn, employment levels remain low and many discouraged workers continue to be absent from the labor force. Until public policy gets pointed in a pro-growth direction - for example, tax and regulatory relief, smaller government, free trade advanced, and monetary policy focused on price stability - the economy and employment will continue to under perform."

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