Physicians' Labors Help Many

Physician's Money Digest, January15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 1

Some politicos believe that althoughthe economy is showingdefinite signs of recovery, themuch-anticipated rally is taintedbecause there isn't a corresponding employmentboom. But there is steadygrowth—if you're willing to look in theright place. And, as usual, America's doctorsare helping out in this regard.

Inc.

Recent business news shows the self-employed—who make up 80% of ourreaders—are giving a much-needed boostto the US economy. According to magazine, the average small US businessowner earns about $112,000 per year.

Different View

Data show that small US businesses(ie, self-employed persons, proprietors,and partnerships) are now a majorgrowth aspect of the improving economy.US Labor Department statistics show thatself-employment was up by 400,000 inthe past year and US Commerce Departmentdata reveal that nonfarm personalincome of US proprietors rose bymore than 8.5% in the past year.

But are these very telling numbersbeing analyzed properly? According toKenneth Safian, a veteran financial advisorand president of Safian InvestmentResearch (www.safian.com), federal employmentnumbers aren't necessarilyaccurate. "As we become less of a manufacturingeconomy and more of a serviceeconomy, I've found that many of the federalemployment numbers are inaccurate,"Safian explains.

Change is affecting the landscape ofUS employment. "Things are changing—especially at the big corporate level.The job growth in that sector isn't thereanymore. Sociological changes, liketwo-income families, are also impactingthe nature of employment. This is amajor story, but the government doesn'twant to address it because it wouldmean they'd have to revise the waythey do things."

Big Change

Money

Nevertheless, Safian, who is the uncleof magazine managing editorRobert Safian, says the informationshows that the nation is becoming moreentrepreneurial. "Ideally, we should beusing these numbers to encourage self-employmentand self-sustenance. Thenwe could really look at making somemeaningful changes to society."

Whether the US government getsclued in or not, Safian says that we arecurrently facing a new era for Americanlabor—a time for change. "Too often wethink a new era comes from some technologyproduct," he says, "but a new erais when many changes are coming and wereally don't understand their full impact.And that's where we are now."