“While it took four years for real GDP to regain its previous peak, it took seven years for employment to recover. Over that period, the population grew by about 20 million and the labor force participation rate fell. Labor markets, although improved, are still sloshy. Basically there’s no clear direction among small employers.”
According to the study, roughly equal numbers of employees were added and reduced by small business owners, producing a seasonally adjusted net gain of zero employees per firm.
“Observers are now capitulating and calling the current jobs performance good, but that’s because they forget what real job creation looks like in a real expansion,” said Dunkelberg. “It’s good only to the extent that employment isn’t shrinking. But it signals real disagreement among small employers over whether it’s safe to add workers, which is what the economy badly needs.”