Atlanta, Georgia, February 6, 2012.
The 2012 outlook for women-owned businesses is positive; 26.1% will increase hiring during the first quarter of 2012 while only 13.3% will decrease hiring. Women business hiring will be strongest in the South and Midwest and especially in IT related industries. These results are according to the Gazelle Index; the first ever national quarterly survey of the outlook and hiring plans of small-businesses that focuses especially on firms owned by women, African-Americans/blacks and Hispanic/Latinos. The Gazelle Index seeks to provide information that is designed to help small, women and minority-owned businesses succeed.
Women CEOs will increase hiring in 2012. Based on the national survey, 26.1% of women-owned businesses will increase hiring during the first quarter of 2012 while only 13.3% will decrease hiring.
Regional hiring by women-owned businesses will be strongest in the South, where 29.0% of businesses intend to add workers while only 9.3% will cut payrolls. Hiring will also be strong in the Midwest; 28.6% will add workers while 14.3% will cut.
The Recession hit women businesses hardest the South and North East. In the South, 53.9% of women-owned businesses have cut employees since the recession and 23.1% reduced their workforce by more than 50%.
Industry hiring in women-owned businesses will be strongest in information technology where 63.6% will add employees, 27.3% indicated that employment will remain the same and no women respondents plan to cut payrolls.
Gazelle Index forecast 2012: In December, when other analyst were still very pessimistic about the economy, the Gazelle Index forecast 2012 GDP growth at 3.5% and unemployment decreasing to 7.5%.
The Gazelle Index is powered by EuQuant and published by CEO Dr. Thomas “Danny” Boston; a Georgia Tech economist and frequent contributor to CNN. The latest survey was conducted during the month of November, 2011. It included 631 randomly selected respondents who operated businesses with 10 to 100 employees. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents were women and the results for each group have a margin of error of + or -5%.