Gallup CEO: Numbers show American entrepreneurship is dying
by Ben Bullard
The chairman and CEO of Gallup authored the summary attached to a Tuesday data report whose numbers indicate (or, if you’ve been paying attention, corroborate) a troubling truth: Existing American businesses are dying off at a faster rate than new ones are growing.
In “American Entrepreneurship: Dead or Alive?” Gallup CEO Jim Clifton attempts to stress the urgency of this simple fact:
We are behind in starting new firms per capita, and this is our single most serious economic problem. Yet it seems like a secret. You never see it mentioned in the media, nor hear from a politician that, for the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the total number of new business startups and business closures per year — the birth and death rates of American companies — have crossed for the first time since the measurement began. I am referring to employer businesses, those with one or more employees, the real engines of economic growth. Four hundred thousand new businesses are being born annually nationwide, while 470,000 per year are dying.
The business “birth rate” compared with its “death rate” — that’s a metric that even the simplistic mainstream press can understand. Clifton includes this graph, which tracks the Census data over time...
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