Posted: 6:28 p.m. Monday, April 8, 2013
By Brian O'Connell
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — With 500,000 Americans giving up looking for work, according to jobs figures from the U.S. Labor Department, and a paltry 88,000 jobs created in the U.S. last month, what’s a frustrated job-seeker to do?
How about asking a female business owner for a job?
The chances, on a relative basis at least, are that you’ll get one.
At least, that’s the opinion of American Express Open, from its State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
The report says there about 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., producing $1.3 in revenues and employing 7.8 million Americans.
“The growth in the number, revenues and employment of women-owned firms over the past 16 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the very largest, publicly traded corporations in the country,” the report says. In fact, women-owned businesses trail only publicly traded companies as the fastest-growing job engines in the U.S. in 2013.
Amex says that women-owned businesses added 175,000 net jobs across the U.S. since 2007, compared with a net decline of 569,000 jobs at privately held U.S. companies in the same period. Since 1997, women-owned firms rose by 59 percent, too, with the fastest growth coming from minority-owned businesses with women at the helm.
“The report underlines the important role women-owned firms have played throughout the economic recovery,” says Susan Sobbott, president of American Express Open. “Women-owned businesses have been net job creators since 2007, a distinction shared by only large, publicly traded companies.”
Where are the best opportunities for job-seekers?
Amex Open says the fastest-growing U.S. women-owned companies are education services, up 113 percent since 2002; waste services firms (up 58 percent); health care (up 45 percent); and transportation and warehouse-related firms (up 40 percent) — all in the same period.
The best states to look for women-owned businesses skew toward the U.S. South, with the most welcoming states for female entrepreneurs including Georgia, which is up 112 percent since 1997, followed by Texas (93 percent), North Carolina (91 percent) and Louisiana (94 percent).
San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Ore.; and Houston, Texas, are at the top of the list of cities with the fastest-growing rates of women-owned businesses.
To find a women-owned company in your area, contact the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council or ask your local Chamber of Commerce Office for help.