A Dispute Over Job Creation

The April decline in U.S. payroll employment has reinforced the view that a "soft landing" is here and even raised some recessionary fears. Economist William C. Dunkelberg of the National Federation of Independent Business is skeptical, however.

Noting that the Labor Dept.'s "plug factor" to reflect hiring at business startups was reduced by some 22,000 jobs in April, Dunkelberg argues that the agency is missing the boat on job creation: Rather than losing steam, employment gains at small businesses are actually gathering strength. He points out that hiring plans by members of the NFIB in April were running close to their highest level in 21 years. Thus, he expects "some major upward revisions in the employment numbers."

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