In the years leading up to the recession, small businesses hired an average of 44.4 million people each year. In 2008, that fell to 40.6 million, and it dropped even further in 2009 to 35.5 million workers, well below pre-recession levels.
Small businesses employ about 65 percent of the nation's workers.
The bill before the Senate would provide $12 billion in tax breaks and a $30 billion lending fund that is expected to improve access to credit for small businesses.
Today's report, entitled "Small Business Employment: Bank Lending Restrains Job Creation," used an unpublished data series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to update a May 2010 JEC report analyzing small-business hiring between January 2001 and March 2010. The update includes data through May.
“Small businesses have been struggling to get the loans they need to expand and create jobs, as this report shows," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairman of the JEC. "It is time for Congress to help small businesses get the lending they so desperately need to grow."