A look at private losses, small biz aid

Marketplace Staff Sep 1, 2010
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A look at private losses, small biz aid

Marketplace Staff Sep 1, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

BILL RADKE: Private-sector jobs in the U.S. fell by 10,000 last month, according to a new report. Let’s bring in analyst Richard DeKaser, president of Woodley Park Research, he joins us live every Wednesday from Washington, D.C. Good morning.

RICHARD DEKASER: Good morning.

RADKE: This morning the payroll company ADP said private sector jobs fell slightly in August. How big a blow is that?

DEKASER: Well, that’s not good news. It’s the first loss we’ve had since January of this year. And once again, we’re seeing them occur in the small business sector. Large businesses actually added a little bit, but the losses in the small- and medium-sized business sectors simply outweighed that gain. So, on balance, a modest loss. And, in fact, it’s important to note that the real number people care about — the one coming out on Friday — has been running a bit higher, about 65,000 jobs better than the ADP report. So this doesn’t necessarily mean all hope is lost. We may get a better figure once the real numbers out come out on Friday.

RADKE: Well, you stressed small business there. Congress keeps talking about helping small businesses — what form will that actually take and how much can it help?

DEKASER: Actually, there’s actually a bill before Congress right now — $30 billion to be invested in banks if they demonstrate programs to lend to small businesses. This is kind of a mini version of the TARP program from almost two years ago. Doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything because it’s an investment, not a gift. But it’s up against some tough realities. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the banking industry. They already have more capital than they’ve held in decades. But they’re confronting these new regulations, which are going to be phased in the next year. And so the question is do they have enough capital — even though they have lots — that’s probably what’s holding back the flow of credit to small businesses.

RADKE: Very interesting. Richard DeKaser of Woodley Park Research, thanks a lot.

DEKASER: You’re welcome.

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