Today, Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), released the following statement in response to the April employment data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
"The latest employment data is very worrisome, to say the least. Specifically, the household survey, which not only better captures start-up and small business activity but also tells us if workers are entering or leaving the workforce, shows two months of declines in employment - down by 169,000 in April and by 31,000 in March.
"Meanwhile, the civilian labor force was down by 342,000 in April, and by 164,000 in March. In fact, the labor force participation rate in April fell to its lowest level since December 1981.
"So, we have 200,000 lost jobs over the last two months, along with more than a half-million people leaving the workforce. That's a clear message that entrepreneurs and businesses remain worried about costs and uncertainties, and therefore are unwilling to ramp up investment and job creation, while a significant number of workers remain discouraged.
"Unfortunately, without a dramatic change in public policy - such as providing substantive, permanent, pro-growth tax and regulatory relief, and reining in runaway government spending - it's hard to see how the U.S. is going to return to a path of robust economic and employment growth anytime soon."