Minority Firms Trail in Hiring Women, Study Says

Associated Press

Minorities hire minorities, but not women, a Census Bureau study showed Tuesday.

Companies owned by Hispanics and blacks hired fewer women than other businesses, but nearly half had a work force consisting of 75% to 100% minorities, said a bureau report, "Characteristics of Business Owners."

"This was quite a contrast to the predominantly white work force of the women and non-minority, male-owned firms," the study noted.

Based on a detailed analysis of the 1982 economic census, the report looks at many sides of the people who own businesses, ranging from their sources of capital to the number of hours they worked.

The report, financed by the Minority Business Development Agency and the Small Business Administration, was the government's first analysis of business owners. It covered sole proprietorships, partnerships and small corporations, but not large corporations.

Of 38,631 black-owned firms with paid employees, it said, only 2.5% had no minority workers. And of the 39,917 Hispanic-owned businesses with employees, only 8.2% hired no minority workers.

The share with no minorities rose to 15.1% among the 49,294 companies owned by Asians and other minorities, and to 48.3% with the 311,662 companies owned by women.

In comparison, 52.1% of the 1,268,869 businesses owned by white males reported no minority workers.

Like minorities, women were most likely to hire women, with only 10.4% of women-owned companies reporting no female workers.

The number of companies with no working women climbed to 14.1% among businesses owned by non-black and non-Hispanic minorities and 20.8% for companies owned by white men.

Among black-owned firms, 21.5% employed no women, while among Hispanic businesses 24.6% reported no female workers.

Other findings from the study included:

Two-thirds of business owners started their companies or purchased them without borrowing capital. In some cases start-up capital wasn't required, while others used assets from their families or savings.

About 70% of women and blacks began their businesses with less than $5,000 in capital. That amount was sufficient for 64% of Hispanic owners, 59% of white males and 51% of Asians and other minorities.

Asians and other minority owners were most likely to work 70 hours a week or more, with 10% reporting that they put in that much time. Some 8.4% of white males worked more than 70 hours, followed by 7.0% of Hispanics, 6.3% of blacks and 4.3% of women.

The business owners most likely to be married were white men at 82.3%, followed by 81.6% of Asians and other minorities and 80.4% of Hispanics. The married share fell to 70.9% of women and 70.1% for blacks.

Women were the best-educated business owners, with 86.2% having graduated from high school. For white men, 82.6% were high school graduates, followed by 81.5% of Asians and other minorities, 70.7% of blacks and 65.7% of Hispanics.

About 56% of women business owners operated out of their homes, compared to 54% of blacks, 51% of white men, 47% of Hispanic owners and 43% of Asians and other minorities.

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