From December 2016 to March 2017, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector establishments were 7.3 million, a decrease of 127,000 jobs over the quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private-sector establishments were 6.7 million, a decrease of 391,000 jobs from the previous quarter. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment gain of 654,000 jobs in the private-sector during the first quarter of 2017. (See tables A and 1.)
Job openings were little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September. Job openings have been at or near record high levels since June. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively.
A key moment in the modern myth-making around small business came in 1978. That’s when MIT economist David Birch published claims – which he repeated in testimony before Congress – that small firms had accounted for 80 per cent of all new employment opportunities between 1968 and 1976. Critics quickly pointed out that Birch’s findings were quite wrong, largely because he defined firm size according to how many employees worked in a given location (like a branch office, factory, or store), not how many the firm employed altogether. In fact, most job creation, in the 1970s and today, comes from a small number of very fast-growing firms, while most small firms either fail (killing jobs) or remain small. Birch later admitted that the 80 per cent figure was a ‘silly number’, but the claims took firm root in popular mythology and political rhetoric by the 1980s. ‘Small businesses create eight out of every 10 new jobs,’ said Richard Lesher, president of the largest pro-business lobbying organisation, the US Chamber of Commerce.
U.S. employers hired at a strong pace in October, and revisions showed the labor market weathered hurricane damage better than previously estimated.\Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 261,000 in October, a pickup from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate declined to 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000. Economists expected 315,000 new jobs and a 4.2% unemployment rate last month. Wages rose 2.4% from a year earlier, a slowdown from last month.September's payrolls data, initially reported as the first drop in seven years, were revised to show employers actually created 18,000 new jobs that month, extending the economy's streak of job gains to a record 85 straight months.
For the first time in three years of polling, slightly more voters say that California is headed down the wrong track (52%) than in the right direction (48%). Their assessment for the nation is even worse: twice as many voters have a negative outlook on the country’s direction than have a positive impression.