Friday, January 27, 2012

In the News: Oregon's Small Businesses and Job Bias Claims

Small Business Profiles for States
Each year, the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy releases annual small business profiles for each state. These reports provide information on the demographics of business ownership, employment, and small business* income for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Here are a few highlights from the latest Oregon report:
  • Most of Oregon's small businesses are very small, as 73.8 percent of all businesses did not have employees, and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.
  • While the employment situation was weak in 2008 and 2009, small businesses in Oregon represented 89.6 percent of the net new private-sector jobs from 2005 to 2008.
  • Self-employment surged over the last decade. Male self-employment fared the best, with an increase of 14.3 percent from 2000 to 2010.
More details for Oregon -- and all states -- are available on the SBA website. *This SBA report defines small businesses as those with fewer than 500 employees. There is no official or uniform definition of small business.

Job Bias Claims
In a recent news release, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that job bias claims reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2010. Private-sector workplace discrimination charges totaled 99,922 claims. The EEOC noted that last year, for the first time ever, retaliation under all statutes (36,258 charges) surpassed race (35,890) as the most frequently filed charge, while allegations based on religion (3,790), disability (25,165) and age (23,264) increased.

The Associated Press summarized the changes in the composition of all suits filed. Charges of religious discrimination jumped by 9.5 percent from the previous year, the largest increase of any category. Claims of bias based on ancestry or country of origin rose 5 percent. At the same time, claims of disability bias climbed 2 percent and charges of discrimination based on age rose 1 percent.

You can read more in the full story from any number of publications, including USA Today, the Washington Times, or NPR.

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