How We Count Jobs
One way we measure impact is changes in employment across time.
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.
Out of all current employees at a business, the count of positions which will not be terminated due to receiving our loans. If the business would have kept an employee, regardless of receiving the loan, it is not counted as a retained employee.
All payroll employees a business projects it will hire in the next two years due to our loan. If the business would have hired an employee regardless of receiving the loan, that position is not counted. The business owner(s) do 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 we report jobs information, we express them in full-time equivalence (FTEs). One full-time equivalent employee is equal to one person working an average of 35 hours per week throughout the year. Clients report three different categories of employment to us, which are then aggregated into the FTE figure.
A count of all individual(s) employed at the business that work an average of 35 hours per week or more throughout the year.
A count of all individual(s) employed at the business that work an average of less than 35 hours per week throughout the year. Clients are asked to submit the average weekly hours count for part-time employees.
Seasonal and Temporary Employees
A count of all individual(s) employed that work at the business for less than 12 months out of the year. Clients are asked to submit both the average months per year worked and average weekly hours count for seasonal and temporary employees.
Higher employment is an output of our work, but we think measuring outcomes is more important.
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).
To be engines for economic growth, small firms must be financially stable. We ask those who receive loans 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).
CBSDF’s peer-reviewed work has shown communities with small businesses that have high levels of social capital also have lower levels of income inequality and more sustainability development activity. Businesses who get loans from us 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 Jobs 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. The business-level information provided by clients is confidential and never shared publicly.
Clients 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.
We ask that clients project jobs created and retained based on their best estimate of the business’s future growth plans. Admittedly, the margin of error with such projections can be high. For this reason, we also measure impact in many other ways.
We’re committed high quality data collection practices because we know that our clients are doing amazing things for the region’s economy. Feel free to contact our research staff with any questions you may have.