Jobs growth on Main Street—a traditional driver of past U.S. economic recoveries—so far has been largely stagnant.
Faced with challenges, from taxes to anticipated rising health-care costs, many small-business owners remain in a holding pattern. They're not making substantial spending decisions, including hiring.
Given small employers' role in the broader economy, CardHub, a website for credit card, financial and jobs advice, has released a new ranking of the best and worst American cities for small-business workers and job seekers.
In other words, if you prefer to work for a mom-and-pop firm, you may want to think twice about like Riverside, Calif., and instead focus on metropolises, such as Denver, according to the study. CardHub rated cities based on 10 metrics, including net small-business job growth, the variety of industries and small business vitality—a measure of small business concentration and growth. The analysis focused on small employers in the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
"There are a lot of surveys looking at the best places to start a business for entrepreneurs. But there's been little on the other side of the coin," said John Kiernan, a senior analyst for CardHub, based in Washington, DC.
While the nation's unemployment rate is at 7.6 percent, an alternate rate that counts discouraged Americans who've quit looking or are underemployed is nearly 14 percent.
"Given how tough the job market remains to be following the recession, we thought it would be interesting and helpful to look at where the most opportunities are," Kiernan said.
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