The Treasury Department's new chief economist, Jan Eberly, says regulatory uncertainty is not the cause of slow job growth:
Is Regulatory Uncertainty a Major Impediment to Job Growth?, by Dr. Jan Eberly, Treasury Notes: Last week at a Senate hearing Secretary Geithner said, “I'm very sympathetic to the argument you want to be careful to get the rules better and smarter, but I don’t think there's good evidence in support of the proposition that it's regulatory burden or uncertainty that's causing the economy to grow more slowly than any of us would like.”
Economists from across the political spectrum have also weighed into this debate and reached the same conclusion. ... Nonetheless, two commonly repeated misconceptions are that uncertainty created by proposed regulations is holding back business investment and hiring and that the overall burden of existing regulations is so high that firms have reduced their hiring.
If regulatory uncertainty was a major impediment to hiring right now, we would expect to see indications of this in one or more of the following: business profits; trends in the workforce, capacity utilization, and business investment; differences between industries undergoing significant regulatory changes and those that are not; differences between the United States and other countries that are not undergoing the same changes; or surveys of business owners and economists. As discussed in a detailed review of the evidence below, none of these data support the claim that regulatory uncertainty is holding back hiring. ...