Census Data Shows Women Making Snail-Like Progress in Business Ownership

Women-owned firms still make up a small minority of all businesses in the United States, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. But women are making some progress toward parity.

Women-owned firms made up only 19.9 percent of all firms that employed people in the United States in 2018 but their numbers are growing. There were 6,861 more women-owned firms in 2018 than in 2017, up 0.6 percent to 1.1 million.

In Hawaii, women-owned firms made up 24.7 percent of all firms in the state, the highest rate in the nation. In Virginia, women-owned firms made up 23.7percent of all firms, and in Colorado women-owned firms made up 22.2 percent of all firms in the state.

Women-owned employer firms reported nearly $1.8 trillion in sales, shipments, receipts, or revenue and employed over 10.1 million workers with an annual payroll of $388.1 billion in 2018. In 2018, women-owned firms earned an average of $1.6 million in sales, shipments, or revenue; male-owned firms’ earnings were double that at $3.2 million.

Average annual earnings of employees of women-owned firms lag behind the national earnings average of the workers of all firms: $38,238 in average annual payroll per employee for women-owned firms compared with $54,114 for all businesses.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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