Neighborhood Notes, April 2, 2012
Are multi-million dollar public investments to woo corporations to our city in the best interest of our local economy? Who is responsible for job creation? The president, local government, entrepreneurial business people? As we expressed last month in the first installment in our Thinking Local series, you don’t have to look to ambiguous entities to create change in your community. You, and your neighbors, have the power to effect considerable change by just changing your habits. There is power in your dollar, but there is also power in your voice and vote.
Nationwide, small businesses account for 64 percent of net new jobs created, and Oregon is even better off at 66 percent.
“If you look at the Fortune 500 companies, they’ve actually had declining employment for the last 10 or 20 years,” Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher at the New Rules Project, says. “There’s no job growth; it’s actually layoffs and job decline at the top end of the corporate spectrum. The real job growth is with small businesses.”
And not just small business, but small, local businesses—and an abundance of numbers back up this assertion.
From 1999 to 2009, the majority of job growth in the Portland metro area came from the expansion of existing companies, according to the National Establishment Time Series database. Resident companies based in the metro area grew by 63.6 percent while nonresidents (headquartered outside of Portland) declined by 8.9 percent.
In the same 10 year period, Portland-based companies created 92,413 jobs while nonresidents lost 38,388. The greatest growth came from small Portland businesses. Those with less than 10 employees (including self employment) were the only net job creators, adding 113,630 jobs. Companies of 10 to 99 employees lost 337 jobs and the biggest losers were companies employing 100 or more, losing 20,880 jobs.
The moral of the story: Most jobs come from the businesses and talent already located in our backyard.