U.S. Chamber Labor Day Briefing Highlights Continued Barriers to Job Creation and Economic Growth

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Uncertainty Over Taxes, Employment Regulations Continue to Stall Hiring.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Labor Day briefing today, where Chief Economist Dr. Martin Regalia and Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson outlined the top economic and workplace issues for businesses.

Regalia discussed the uncertainty businesses are facing over the potential looming tax increases, the fiscal cliff, and the release of jobs numbers for August.

“The fiscal cliff we are facing is self-inflicted, and if politics get in the way of addressing it, there will be a very negative effect on our economy,” he said. “If we don’t address the fiscal cliff, we will almost certainly be in a recession. Uncertainty over the potential looming tax increases is already depressing economic activity and Congress should act now to address it. Congress should also work to address our long-term fiscal problems through entitlement reform and getting our debt and deficits under control.”

“The jobs numbers just released for the month of August show that a paltry number of jobs are being created,” Regalia continued. “It is still an abysmal labor market, where over 360,000 people left the workforce last month, and it will be very difficult for them to re-enter the workforce because we don’t have a vibrant labor market that offers opportunity and encourages participation.”

Johnson highlighted the excessive employment regulations that are burdening small business owners, and discussed the impact of Congress’ and the administration’s agenda on employers.

“When looking at how workplace regulations and policies impact businesses, there should be a recognition that employers and workers are in this together,” he said. “The cost of regulations on businesses has often been trivialized, but these regulations cost employers billions of dollars and impact decisions about how they run their business and how many employees to hire. Small businesses bear the biggest burden from trying to keep up with all the regulations and mandates coming out of Washington, and it’s critical that the administration and Congress keep that in mind when considering employment regulations.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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