Startups drive America's job engine (told ya so)

New study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that when startups collapsed in 2009, it cost America half a million jobs.

Mary Knox Merrill / The Christian Science Monitor / File
Valentin Gapontsev (center), founder of IPG Photonics, stands in front of several of his 400 employees at his Oxford, Mass., headquarters, in this file photo from Jan. 7. Gapontsev founded IPG Photonics in Moscow in 1990, and moved company headquarters to Massachusetts in 1998. For three years, the US economy has watched jobs disappear. The growth of young and innovative firms, like IPG Photonics, tends to drive US job creation.

I saw a long-time friend James Spletzer at an SBA Advocacy conference in downtown Washington DC today. Actually, the event was hosted in the Kennedy room, aka Russell 325, where JFK and later RFK announced their presidential campaigns (Note to self: reserve room for announcement in 2018).

James is a data geek/rock star at the Labor Department (which I say with great data geek pride). Anyway, James complimented me on the research we at Kauffman have been doing on BDS, and humbly shared with me a similar study his team put out in August using BED firm-age data. Here it is: a great, short summary study affirming the vitality of startups in job creation. It also shows recent trends, unlike our reports which time out in 2005, namely that startups fizzled hard in 2009 , dropping 75,000 from the rate in 2008 (627k startups in 2008, 549k in 2009). Jobs at startups fell off by nearly 500,000 jobs in 2009. Read it.

Business Employment Dynamics (BED/BDM are the 3-letter codes they use) is one of the coolest datasets in the world, in my humble opinion. My ambition is to convince somebody powerful inside the beltway to (1) fund the BDM so that it is monthly (if that is possible) and as current as the CES and CPS (if that is possible) and then (2) include it in the monthly Employment Situation report on first fridays. Wouldn't that be the coolest development in the world??

How about that for a presidential campaign theme? "Dynamic Data For Dynamic Americans!"

Uh-oh. I think I can hear my future media adviser muttering: Simmer down, Tim, simmer down ...

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.