Fed policy, in which it is holding short-term interest rates near zero while continuing to pump $45 billion a month into bond purchases, likely would be influenced greatly by a sub-5 percent unemployment rate. Though he doesn't address Fed policy in his analysis, Stibel's projections imply an economic growth rate that is faster than the Fed's projected 3.0 percent to 3.2 percent rate for 2015, as well as an unemployment rate in the 5.6 percent to 5.9 percent range.
An acceleration in hiring would push the Fed not only to stop the money-printing for bond purchases—which is expected to wrap up later this year regardless—but also would push the central bank to raising rates more aggressively than current expectations.
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Stibel's prediction foresees an economic cycle different than in past recoveries:
The typical trend in economic recoveries is driven by a process known as "cyclical upgrading," where employment transfers to high-paying industries during booms and low wage jobs during recessions. Small businesses have a disproportionate number of low-wage jobs and that often leads job seekers toward those companies during recessions, which is what then fuels a rebound in employment...
The current economic cycle, however, is different. During this recession, the recovery started with big businesses, spurred initially by government bailouts and stimulus packages given to banks and large corporations. These subsidies were intended to trickle down to smaller businesses but that effect has been slow to occur. This recession was marked by an overall decline in small businesses (typically we see small business starts accelerate), decrease in mean employment size of small businesses, and a lack of turnover for the most tenured employees. All of this led to high unemployment rates.
That's not how things are going now, he said:
(T)he trends we've seen since the beginning of the recession are beginning to shift. Our data is finally showing that the smallest of businesses are growing more optimistic about their prospects, which will eventually lead to the increased hiring that typically comes at the start of a recovery. If the trend holds, it means that the typical post-recession jobs growth will be inverted during the current economic recovery. Thus, we should begin to see an acceleration in new jobs and rapidly decreasing unemployment.
If Stibel is right, then the Fed indeed is being too pessimistic in its employment projections:
The Federal Reserve projections are based on similar assumptions as our alternative model, and thus show a continued trend downwards, but the rate is likely understated as a result of not taking into account small business growth. If small businesses add jobs at the volume suggested by historical averages, the slope will accelerate more quickly. This can give us all confidence that we will see a steady drop to 5.0 percent unemployment next year.
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There are some fundamental flaws in Stibel's analysis, which you can read here.
He acknowledges one: That his "methodology does not account for significant changes in the civilian labor force." It's not just "changes" that aren't accounted for—it's the shrinking of the percentage of workers actively on the job or seeking employment to levels not seen since the late-1970s "malaise days" of economic stagnation.