3/10/2010 9:00:00 AM By
My colleague, Dane Stangler, has a new report out today in Kauffman's series looking at business dynamics. Today's report, High Growth Firms and the Future of the American Economy
, is a really easy and compelling read highlighting the importance of considering new and young firms as the United States works to advance job growth. Anyone who read Dane's piece from last fall, Where Will the Jobs Come From
, will enjoy this addition as well.
What I like best about Dane's new report is that it doesn't gloss over really complicated topics like change and the nature of competition between entering businesses and established businesses. It also provides good statistics on the nature of growing businesses in 2007 such as:
- "Gazelle" firms (ages three to five years old and fast growing) comprise less than 1 percent of all companies, yet generate roughly 10 percent of new jobs in any given year.
- The "average" firm in the top 1 percent of the growth distribution contributes 88 jobs per year. The average firm in the economy as a whole, on the other hand, adds two or three net new jobs each year.
The report goes on to offer a series of policy recommendations for officials working to promote this population of businesses.
3/9/2010 7:00:00 PM By
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)'s Index of Small Business Optimism is out for February 2010 and showed a small drop in optimism among business owners. Even more depressing than a one-month lull is the fact that the index has remained below a level of 90 for its longest period ever. Read more from the Wall Street Journal or on the NFIB website.
3/9/2010 12:00:00 PM By
The last couple of months haven't been good for me and blogging. It was much harder than I anticipated to get time to blog while on leave to take care of my new daughter, Dorothy, whom we adopted in late November. But, as you can see from her photo, the time off with Dorothy was well worth it!
In many ways, taking a break from blogging was a good thing for me. It gave me some time to reflect on a year of blogging on the topic of entrepreneurship and innovation data. The topic still elicits great intellectual passion for me and as such I will be ramping my blogging back up. Indeed, if there is anything I have seen in the last year of economic tumult and policy crisis it is that it is there can be great returns to a continual focus on a particular topic, even as others interest ebbs and flows. We were lucky that our focus on ramping up entrepreneurship measures at Kauffman started back in 2002 and that many of the efforts were implemented before the crisis started, such as the Kauffman Firm Survey
and the Organsation for Economic Co-operation and Developments indicators
. It will be very hard for many statistical groups to implement new series until the pace of economic change has flattened out and baselines can be established. Some of our less well-known programs, such as support for the work of Andy Reamer at the Brookings Institutions on bringing the U.S. statistical system into the 21st century, recognized more systematic problems with economic measurement - a topic which has become too apparent to everyone searching for answers in the current environment.
But I regret that I haven't been able to find ways to better network some of the people involved in this data work. The Kauffman Symposiums on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Data were a powerful series of events with this purpose and we still plan to reinstate them in some form later this year; however, finding ways to engage these tireless and humble soldiers of statistics and survey methodology on line is still a struggle. While Data Maven has helped me to broadcast some of my thoughts, it has been harder to get a good feedback loop going than I'd hoped. Additionally, in the coming months I want to get back to the unique focus of this blog a bit more. I will continue to highlight interesting new data, surveys, and other methodological issues but I won't be posting as many of what I was calling "opportunities" which included calls for papers and funding. I will strive to get back to a more timely pace of updating Data Maven and work to find ways to serve as a community resource as well as a unique voice in this space. I continue to be open to suggestions for improvement on Data Maven or other people who might be interested in blogging on this topic.
So, to the Data Maven readers out there, I say "thank you" for a good year, "hello again" after a short pause, and "you are invited" to join the cause of improving entrepreneurship and innovation data.