October surprise? Wait. There’s got to be a catch, here. “Big media” is not supposed to find good economic news in the days running up the election. But the Time Inc.-owned Business 2.0 is pumping out a press release touting the fact that it has found at least 100,000 “high-wage” jobs (higher than the $36,000 nation median) in the pipeline at just (clarification “more than” — which means, what? <200?, <150?) 100 companies. And that’s in addition to tens of thousands of jobs the same companies filled this year, according to the magazine. And that’s just (clarification “more than”) 100 big companies.
However, most “new jobs” (even high-wage ones) in the American economy are created by companies much smaller than those surveyed by Business 2.0. As Virginia Postrel has explained about the challenge of measuring job-creation:
“The Bureau (of Labor Statistics) is good at counting people who work for large organizations in well-defined, long-established occupations. It is much less adept at counting employees in small businesses, simply because there are too many small enterprises to representatively sample them. The bureau’s occupational survey, which might suggest which jobs are growing, doesn’t count self-employed people or partners in unincorporated businesses at all. And many of today’s growing industries, the ones adding jobs even amid the recession, are comprised largely of small companies and self-employed individuals. That is particularly true for aesthetic crafts, from graphic designers and cosmetic dentists to gardeners. These specialists’ skills are in ever greater demand, yet they tend to work for themselves or in partnerships.”
I know who Nashville blogger Bill Hobbs will blame for all this.