JOBS REPORT: Positive Momentum, Solid Trends in Entrepreneurship, More Part-Time Workers Go Full Time

By at 3 November, 2017, 12:06 pm


Washington, D.C. – October’s job data, released by the Bureau of Labor statistics today, continues to reflect positive momentum in the economy and confidence within the small business sector, according to Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan. The economy added 261,000 jobs in October, with some other positive trends worth noting in data.  Kerrigan observed that sustainability and growth, including much needed wage growth, into 2018 will be driven by policy, namely the enactment of tax reform and relief.

“Businesses continue to add jobs at a good clip, which stems from their confidence and a strengthened economy.  In addition, the economy has demonstrated solid resiliency in spite of the hurricanes.  Entrepreneurs, America’s workforce and the economy will be lifted higher with tax relief and reform. Bold tax reform will put the economy on a strong, sustainable growth track where widespread benefits can be achieved in 2018,” said Kerrigan.

Kerrigan observed that the policy winds have been moving favorably for small businesses throughout 2017, with meaningful executive orders from President Trump to improve the regulatory environment and fifteen congressional review act (CRA) resolutions that have been signed into law.

“Small businesses are looking forward with optimism, not looking over their shoulder with dread at the next big regulation coming out of Washington,” added Kerrigan.

Ridding the economy of costly red tape and uncertainty are key reasons why small business confidence remains high, which helped to fuel strong GDP performance over the past two quarters, according to Kerrigan.  But more progress is needed to relieve small businesses of burdensome health coverage costs, and helping them grow and be more competitive with tax reform. Changes in these areas will fuel their confidence, and their decisions to invest and take more risks going into 2018.

Some additional positive news from the October jobs report includes:

Good News on Recovering Entrepreneurship: Third Straight Month of Self-Employment Gains

The household survey provides two measures of entrepreneurship – unincorporated self-employed and incorporated self-employed.

The unincorporated self-employed data is seasonally adjusted, so we can look at the numbers from month to month. The October level came in at 9.7 million, which was the third straight month of gains, and was up versus 9.549 million a year earlier. That is a net gain of 151,000.

Meanwhile, the incorporated self-employed is not seasonally adjusted, so we have to compare the October data to the same time last year. The October 2017 level of 6.171 million was up notably from the October 2016 level of 5.704 million. That is a gain of 467,000.

As noted by SBE Council’s research on the gap in entrepreneurship, the cumulative effect of low business creation over the past decade or more equates to 3.42 million “missing” businesses in our economy.

Good News for Part-Timers Seeking Full-Time Employment

According to the BLS media release on the part-time employment data:

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 369,000 to 4.8 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs. Over the past 12 months, the number of involuntary part-time workers has decreased by 1.1 million.”

The percentage of Americans stuck in part-time work fell to its lowest level since 2006 (7.9%).

Job Revisions Push Employment Up 

The BSL report revised the jobs data for August and September upward, increasing +169,000 to +208,000 (August) and -33,000 to +18,000 (September). With these revisions, employment was 90,000 higher than previously reported over these two months.


Karen Kerrigan,


Raymond Keating, Chief Economist,, 631-909-1122

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil


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