Report: Philly is fourth worst US city for small business workers

small business
Philadelphia’s high cost of living, unemployment rate and stress index all contributed to its ranking near the bottom of the list. Credit: File photo

Philadelphia is the fourth worst city in the United States for small businesses employees, according to a report released Monday by credit card comparison website CardHub.com

The report, “The Best and Worst Cities to Work for a Small Business: 2013,” used 10 different metrics based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics to rank the overall attractiveness of the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the country to job seekers looking for work at small businesses.

Philadelphia ranked No. 27 on the list, coming in ahead of just Sacramento, Riverside and Detroit.

Denver was rated the best city for small business employees, followed by Boston and Minneapolis.

The study most heavily weighed the number of businesses in each city with fewer than 250 employees per capita, cities’ small business vitality — defined as the proportion of job growth relative to workforce and population trends — average monthly earnings for new hires, residents’ average disposable income and metropolitan areas’ unemployment rates and cost of living.

It also took into account the cities’ small business net job growth, the degree of industry variety within the small business communities, the average number of employee hours worked in each location and each city’s stress index ranking.

CardHub found Philadelphia’s small business community was stifled by high unemployment, stress and cost of living, combined with relatively feeble measures of small business vitality, which were among the 10 lowest on the list.

The city fell in the middle of the pack when it came to the number of small businesses per capita, net small business job growth, average wages for new hires and small business industry diversity.

The report did find one silver lining for small business employees in the City of Brotherly Love.

“About the only thing the Philadelphia metro area has going for it is that its employees work the fourth fewest hours, on average, out of the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the United States,” the conclusion stated.

CardHub noted that, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employ about 47 percent of the nation’s private workforce and have created more than 60 percent of the new jobs added to the economy over the past 20 years.


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