Black-Owned Businesses: Outlook for 2012

The 2012 Outlook for black businesses is based on responses to the Gazelle Index national survey. The Gazelle Index is the first ever national quarterly survey of small-business owners. It is unique because it provides up-to-date, time sensitive business information and its results are broken down by business owners who are African American/black, Hispanics/Latino, white, women and men. The survey includes 631 responses from randomly selected CEOs, who operate businesses with 10 to 100 employees. The results have a margin of error of + or -5%; 33.6% of the respondents operate firms owned by African-Americans.

Hiring Plans: Black CEOs plan to increase hiring significantly in 2012, more so than any other race or ethnic group; 37.4% will increase hiring vs. 15.2% who will cut jobs.












Regional Hiring: Regionally, black business hiring will be strongest in the Northeast, where 43.8% of businesses intend to add workers while only 6.2% will cut payrolls. Secondly, in the South, 36.3% will add and 13.7% will cut. Hiring will be weakest in the Midwest, followed by the West.

Regional Pain of the Recession: Black businesses in the West were hardest hit by the recession; 34.6% of businesses in the West cut their workforce by 50% or more, while 25.0% in the Northeast, 23.7% in the South, and 17.9% in the Midwest did so.

Industry Distribution: The main industries among black businesses included in the survey are as follows: Management and Administrative Services, 21.2%; Construction, 19.8%; Health Care and Education, 12.3%; Transportation and Warehousing, 12.3%; Retail Trade, 8.5%; Professional and Technical Services, 8.0%; and Information Technology accounts for 8.0%.

Future Industry Hiring: the industries that plan to hire the most are as follows: Information Technology, 52.9% of businesses will hire; Construction, 50%; Management and Administrative Services, 42.2%; Health Care and Education, 38.5%; and Retail Trades 33.3%. Industries planning to cut the most include Transportation and Warehousing, and Professional and Technical Services.

Industries Most Optimistic about the future: Industries expressing the greatest future optimism are as follows: Construction, Information Technology, Management and Administers Services, and Health Care and Education.

2012 Gazelle Index Economic Forecast

  • Expect to see much more hiring and economic growth in 2012
  • Expect GDP to grow between 3% and 3.5% during the first half of the year.
  • Expect the overall unemployment rate to decrease to 7.5% by the third quarter of 2012.
  • Expect black Unemployment to remain above 13% throughout 2012.

What is driving growth? 1. The US economy has not been derailed by Euro debt crisis; 2. Corporations are starting to invest and they and still have enormous cash balances; 3. Consumers are beginning to spend more freely; 4. Housing starts and building permits are increasing; and 5. New claims for unemployment compensation are way down.