Today, Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), released the following statement in response to the November employment data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
"With the unemployment rate dropping from 9.0 percent in October to 8.6 percent in November, many people probably want to throw a party. How about half a party?
"We should celebrate that, according to the household survey from which we get the unemployment rate, employment increased by 278,000 in November. That was the fourth monthly increase in a row, and points to life among small businesses.
"But the party needs to be reined in some given that the labor force actually fell by 315,000 in November. That signals continued distress and discouragement among workers.
"We also need to remain sober about where we stand in terms of employment and the labor force. The range for the employment-population ratio in 2011 has been between 58.1 percent and 58.5 percent, which is a 28-year low. And for the labor force participation rate, the 64.0 percent to 64.2 percent range for 2011 registers at a 27-year low."
"The U.S. has a long way to climb back on the jobs front. In order to fully celebrate a re-energized economy and job market, we need pro-growth policies on taxes, regulations and trade to provide positive incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses and investors, and to boost the confidence of job seekers and consumers."