PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Kerrigan: Strong December Job Growth Points to Need for Consistent Policy that Supports Small Business Growth and Entrepreneurship

By at 4 January, 2019, 11:36 am

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan issued the following statement in response to the December jobs data , which found that U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs:

“Today’s job report is no surprise, as small business confidence and growth has remained strong all year.  Despite news-headline pessimism and ‘experts’ in search of a looming recession around every corner, small to mid-size businesses across diverse sectors are humming along, adding jobs and investing in their companies and employees. Wages continue to grow and more people are entering the workforce.  It is more important than ever that the new Congress stay the course on pro-growth policy and work together to continually improve the business environment. Freeing small businesses from excessive government costs, regulations and taxes has proven to be a big positive for investment growth, the U.S. economy and its workers. Opening global markets so that small businesses can expand is a necessity, and the U.S. must continue to lead on trade.

“Congress must also work on practical solutions to lower health insurance costs, as this remains a big pain point for small businesses and American workers. It was a top issue for key voters in the 2018 elections, and will continue to hurt small businesses if allowed to fester. For example, repealing or extending the moratorium on the health insurance tax, which has bipartisan support, would directly aid small businesses, their workers and the self-employed. Lowering costs will allow startups and small businesses to more widely offer this benefit and compete for the workers they need to take advantage of growth opportunities.

“Finding and retaining qualified employees is a top small business concern, and bipartisan solutions are needed to address this growing crisis. If firms can’t find the human capital they need to grow, our economy will suffer the consequences. Small businesses are leaving business opportunities on the table because they can’t find the workers they need.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent; an upward revision in job gains for October (+237,000 to +274,000) and November (+155,000 to +176,000); the labor force participation rate increased two-tenths of a point to 63.1 percent; and over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent.

See SBE Council chief economist Raymond Keating’s analysis of the December jobs data here: “There’s no doubt that 2018 was the best year on the U.S. jobs front in some time.”

CONTACT: Karen Kerrigan, KKerrigan@sbecouncil.org

SBE Council is a nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on a wide range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startup activity and small business growth. Visit www.sbecouncil.org or @SBECouncil.

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