Another Gem in the Jobs Report: Rising Entrepreneurship

By at 2 February, 2018, 4:08 pm

Good News Continues on Entrepreneurship

by Raymond J. Keating-

The January jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offered up solid news in terms of maintaining the positive trend in entrepreneurship.

But first, in terms of jobs, employers added 200,000 to payrolls in January. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent. Wages were also up – average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent on an annualized basis. This increase was the best gain since early 2009.

The monthly jobs report offers a couple of indicators that measure entrepreneurship.

One is unincorporated self-employed. A positive and recent trend in this seasonally-adjusted data continued in January:

● For six months in a row now, the number of unincorporated self-employed has increased, from 9.196 million in July 2017 to 9.773 million in January of this year.

● That January level was the highest since May of 2015. While still short of levels topping 10 million prior to the recession, this recent trend is most welcome.

Second is incorporated self-employed. Since this data is not seasonally adjusted, we need to look at the same period in previous years:

● The January 2018 level of 5.958 million was up nicely from last year’s 5.713 million.

● In fact, the January 2018 number on incorporated self-employed was the highest January level on record, with data going back to 2000.

Our economy has been in desperate need of increased entrepreneurship since the Great Recession. A report by SBE Council released in May 2017 found the U.S. economy missing 3.4 million businesses due to weak business creation over the past decade.

This long overdue up-tick in the number of unincorporated and incorporated self-employed Americans, which began in 2017, has continued into the first month of this year. This trend is very positive news on many fronts. Healthy entrepreneurship will bring more dynamism to our economy, and wide benefits across industries and the country.


Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP:  The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.


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