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Jobs hang in the balance

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

We’re told that the Labor Department report left economists and investors grasping for any good news. They found some in the fact that the average hourly pay rose 6 cents in June, the biggest monthly gain in nearly a year. The average work week also grew, and companies hired 25,000 temporary workers, usually a sign that they will eventually move to full-time workers, but it’s no guarantee. Economists and investors appear to be living off the sweat and stress of those of us who have true skin in the game. Like a gambler down on his luck, until solid consumer confidence returns, small business employers must continue to risk with every hire that they can maintain sufficient stability in their business to keep pressing forward with little to gain or even go deep into debt hoping for their luck to turn around. Small businesses and their employees represent nearly 60 percent of the US workforce.

In the upcoming election cycle politicians will spend billions talking about jobs and the economy. They’ll debate insourcing and outsourcing and who is best suited to create the most jobs and generate the strongest economy. They’ll take credit for everything positive and accept no blame for anything that went wrong and all the while small business employers and the fate of millions of employees will rest on the outcome of the elections, until confidence, cooperation and rock solid belief in the future of the US economy returns to prior form.

Each night as the politicians go to bed, they and their advisors will think of new strategies to gain more votes and overcome gaffs made on the stump. Their goal will be to put the best spin on what is or isn’t happening with the US economy. Meanwhile small business owners and their employees will continue to lose sleep worrying about that next payroll, praying sales improve and that the outcome of the elections will in fact have a positive impact on the country’s economy.

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com

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