Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Shock call: Jobless rate below 5% a year from now

Hiring boom on its way?

Even the Federal Reserve's upbeat forecast for the unemployment rate might underestimate job growth if one analysis is correct.

That's because the rate could be below 5 percent in a year or so, according to a "this time is different" breakdown from Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. CEO Jeffrey Stibel, whose projection appeared Thursday in the online version of the Harvard Business Review.

In Stibel's scenario, improving sentiment among small-business owners will help propel another leg up for hiring, which he said has been boosted for much of the recovery by large businesses. Government support for bigger firms through Federal Reserve liquidity and Wall Street bailouts has propelled hiring so far, but small firms would drive this next leg if this forecast holds up:

Using an alternative model for projecting job growth, we see an entirely different scenario, one in which the U.S. unemployment rate will fall below 5 percent by no later than the middle of next year. This would of course have a profound effect on business and the overall economy.

Yeah, no kidding.

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