I would compare small business job growth in the United States over the last year to the tortoise in the age-old parable about the tortoise and the hare. The growth is not happening swiftly, but it’s also steadily stepping forward at its infuriatingly slow pace.
That means these gains—Intuit has it at about 45,000 for the month, or the same .2 percent growth they had in April—have the potential to be lasting. Adding jobs when the global economy is rocked by crises and overall domestic economic growth has been spotty is an achievement in and of itself.
It’s also exceedingly modest growth by any standard, accompanied by miniscule dips in hours worked and wages. That’s frustrating for those out of work and companies alike, but the reality is that for many industries, the economy is not good enough to bring hiring back to pre-recession levels.
This quote from the Intuit article sums the state of the job market up nicely:
“The rate of small business job growth is the same as April’s,” says Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “But because compensation and hours dropped slightly, we can say the market for small business employment is a bit softer than last month. However, in light of recent tumult in Japan, Greece, and right here at home, it’s a comfort that small business employment continues to improve at all.”
So take this news with the appropriate grains of salt, if you wish. I’m happy to have a little progress. What do you think, gentle reader?
Photo credit to eschu1952 at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1270655