The Great Formation
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December 6th, 2021

On Friday, the US jobs report produced a confusing result. From Bloomberg:

The jobs report is composed of two surveys — one of employers and the other of households. The employer survey, which determines the payroll and wage figures, showed hiring slowed across industries, including declines at automakers and retail outlets. The household survey, which determines the jobless and participation rates, showed employment surged by 1.14 million people and many came off the sidelines.

So employers are reporting sluggish job growth (and an inability to hire in some sectors) and households are reporting a huge surge in newly employed.

What is going on?

I don’t know but I have a theory.

I believe more people are going to work for themselves and/or going into small businesses that are not part of the employer survey.

Here is US Census data on new business formation:

What was an upward trend for the last decade has become an explosion during the pandemic.

Maybe what we are witnessing is not the Great Resignation but the Great Formation.

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