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How We Count Jobs

One way to measure impact is changes in employment across time.

Current Employment
A count of all people a business compensates via payroll. This also includes the business owner(s), if they currently draw any form of compensation from the operation of the business. All contract positions are excluded from current employment counts.

Retained Employment
Based on the number of current employees at a business, the count of positions which will not be terminated due to CSBDF’s assistance. If the business would have kept an employee, even if they had not received assistance, it is not considered a retained employee.

New Employment
All payroll employees a business projects it will hire in the next two years due to CSBDF’s assistance. If the business would have hired an employee regardless of receiving assistance, that position is not counted. The business owner(s) count as new employment if they do not currently draw compensation from the business, but plan to in the next two years. All contract positions are excluded from new employment counts.

Job impacts are expressed as full-time equivalent positions.

When CSBDF collects jobs information from assistance beneficiaries, we collect data on full-time, part-time, and seasonal/temporary employees. This data is then translated into a count of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. One full-time equivalent employee is an individual who works an average of 35 hours per week throughout the year.

Full-Time Employees
Those employed at the business who work an average of 35 hours or more per week throughout the year.

Part-Time Employees
Those employed at the business who work less than 35 hours per week on average throughout the year. Beneficiaries report both a count of part-time positions and the average weekly hours worked by these positions.

Seasonal and Temporary Employees
Payroll employees at the business who work for less than 12 months out of the year. Beneficiaries report a count of seasonal/temporary employees, the average weekly hours worked by these positions, and the average months per year worked by these positions.

Other Outcome-Based Metrics

Higher employment is a one outcome of our work, but it is not the primary outcome.

Though we’re frequently asked about employment impacts, most research suggests the true outcomes of our interventions are more longer-term and holistic in nature. We thus collect the below additional data.

Community Trust
Trust in community institutions is integral to economic growth. We ask small businesses whether they believe ten different types of groups/institutions will treat them fairly and provide them correct information.  Scores on these items are averaged and result in a score ranging from 0.0 (low trust) to 4.0 (high trust).

Financial Stability
To be engines for economic growth, small firms must be financially stable. We ask those who receive assistance to rate whether they believe their financial stability will increase, decrease, or see no change across five different types of items. Scores on these items are averaged, creating a number ranging from -1.0 (negative financial outlook) to +1.0 (positive financial outlook).

Social Capital
Our research shows a robust small business ecosystem occurs concurrently with high levels of social capital. Businesses who receive assistance rate their level of agreement with a series of five statements that represent the respondent’s perceptions of community norms, reciprocity, and social networks. The resultant score is averaged and ranges from -2.0 (low social capital) to +2.0 (high social capital).

 Use of Data

We utilize jobs data when reporting our impact, evaluating our outcomes, and often feature it in research publications. Where required, we may also confidentially share it with  organizations that fund or regulate Carolina Small Business. Information provided by beneficiaries which could identify them is confidential and never shared publicly.

Longitudinal Followup

Beneficiaries receive followup surveys from us about their employment practices. If circumstances have changed since initial projections, we update our impact assessment. This includes revising our job count downwards, in the case of job losses.

Learn More

Because we’re committed to program evaluation that is transparent and accountable, we’re proud to publicly post the details of how we collect and define employment impacts. If you’re interested in the in-depth explanation for this, please click here.

Research Program

Our work is shaped by evidence-based and apolitical research highlighting why small businesses are the foundation of economic development.

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Holistic Evaluation

Rigorous program evaluation can transform community economic development. We're proud to make all of our program and data assessments publicly available.

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