Monday, August 30, 2010

In the news: "Where do new jobs come from?" and more

In our office, we often have conversations about the size of businesses. We like to debate what it means to be a "small" business vs. a "big" business. We also talk about how the size of businesses affect employment growth, which is why an article in the New York Times last week caught my eye: "Small businesses are the engines of job growth. So the conventional wisdom goes. A new paper... challenges this view, arguing instead that start-ups and other young firms are the disproportionate source of new jobs."

At the start of the summer, I received about half a dozen phone calls from reporters looking for information on teen employment in Oregon. As teens embark on their vacations, I am asked to make predictions about their prospects for work over the summer -- a request that many economists consider a "crystal ball" moment. Thankfully, we're reaching the end of summer and I don't have to worry about teen worker questions for several months! What's more, the BLS just published a brief report about teen employment in the nation from April to July of 2010 (

In more local news: An article today from the Statesman Journal talks about a free program from Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries. The Technical Assistance for Employers Program "help[s] Oregon businesses understand and better comply with the state's labor laws." Six people work on this program, answering questions from employers, publishing informative handbooks, and hosting seminars.

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