Pre-election posturing on both sides of the aisle notwithstanding, there is some good news coming out of the U.S. economy after all, despite a persistently high unemployment rate and sluggish overall economic growth. Entrepreneurs continue to exceed expectations and are setting the pace for revenue growth and job creation, according to data from more than 600 finalists in a national business awards program.
These high-growth entrepreneurs, who together employ nearly 700,000 workers and generate more than $165 billion in annual revenue, continue to defy the odds, expanding their companies, spurring job growth and creating momentum in an otherwise moribund economy, according to Ernst & Young, the professional services firm that collected and analyzed the data from the finalists for the firm's 2012 entrepreneur of the year program.
Between 2009 and 2011, these companies experienced 30 percent job growth, compared to negative overall U.S. job growth, and 48 percent revenue growth, compared to overall U.S. revenue growth of 5.6 percent, Ernst & Young said.
Data from the finalists span 26 regions across the U.S. and can also be segmented into nine industry categories. Energy, clean techand natural resources led the group in employment gains at 49 percent between 2009 and 2011; technology followed at 42 percent and services at 33 percent. Life sciences had the slowest employment growth.
Revenue growth among finalists was equally impressive. Sectors leading the group in revenue gains between 2009 and 2011 were energy, clean tech and natural resourcesat 87 percent, technology at 73 percent and retail and consumer products as well as distribution and manufacturing, both at 49 percent. Real estate, construction and lodging had the slowest revenue growth.
"These results are proof that entrepreneurs, who are focusing on innovationand new-market expansion, are doing far better than the national averages," said Bryan Pearce, director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program for the Americas. "These entrepreneurs are more optimistic about the future and are continuing to hire. This positive attitude and forward momentum amidst uncertainty truly characterize the entrepreneurs who have inspired our 26-year-old recognition program. Their confidence led the rate of employment growth among these companies to double between 2010-2011."