Are Micro-Employers Acting Differently In This Downturn?

            A recent issue of the MicroEnterprise Journal explores the issue of whether micro-employers are acting differently in terms of job gains and losses in this downturn than in previous ones.  Using Bureau of labor Statistics data (lagged only 9 months!) the answer seems to be, yes.

            In her analysis, the MicroEnterprise Journal editor Dawn rivers Baker highlights comments by Advocacy economist Brian Headd:

            “There was also the possibility, as Brian Headd of the SBA Office of Advocacy, Office of Economic Research, mentioned to me several months ago, that microbusiness employers will behave differently during different types of economic downturns.  The 2002-2003 business cycle trough was what he called an ‘asset-based’ downturn.

            We are now at the dawn of a “credit-based” downturn and the latest set of business employment dynamics released by the BLS shows that Mr. Headd may have been right.”

            For the complete dataset showing job gains and losses by size class, visit the newly updated BLS web site at

— John McDowell