There was an interesting article in Business Week
yesterday identifying new unemployment numbers that might indicate a postive change in the U.S. economy.
As I travel across the U.S. I hear many different opinions of what unemployment numbers really mean to small business owners. Some people are optimistic and of course most are pessimistic about this economy. Me, I'm more optimistic than most as I also spend time with macroeconomists as well as small business owners which gives me insight on both sides of the fence.
Most of the small business owners I talk to are very optimistic as they are reaping better than expected sales in Q1 but there still remains the question, "when are jobs coming back"? I would actually like to know that question as well.
I do know one thing, most small business owners have had to cut back drastically in the last fifteen months that they now realize they can survive with their current headcounts. In other words, most small business owners I know of (and I know allot of them) are not hiring and do not have plans to hire because they realize now that they were somewhat top heavy in the past. Is this fair for the unemployed? Is it fair that business owners should hire even though they do not need extra employees?
Recently, I was able to see that George Clooney movie, "Up In The Air" while traveling in an airplane from the east to the west coast and I realized something interesting about the message in that movie related to another one of my posts earlier this week. As Clooney's character was an outplacement counselor (a hatchet guy) and was supossed to fire if not console the employees he was terminating, part of his human touch in telling someone they are being downsized was that he recomended other things for these terminated employees to do. One suggestion was to go out and follow their dreams and start their own business. Hmm. Good or bad idea in these economic times?
So again, are these unemployment numbers telling us something? What do e read into these numbers and is now a good time to start a business?
If you haven't seen the movie, you should. I watched it because I was in an airplane and I'm glad I did.