Driving the Day: 3/30/12
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The U.S. Congress avoided a shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects on Thursday by passing a 90-day funding extension. The bill is now headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. The bill averts layoffs for as many as 1.5 million construction workers who otherwise would have faced stoppages at midnight this Saturday. The measure is a temporary fix and did little to resolve an impasse over long-term funding. The battle over transportation funding underscores deep divisions in the House over spending measures and the scope of the federal government's powers.
Small business employees enjoyed increased compensation and hours worked in March, according to a new survey from Intuit, a payrolls processing firm. Employee monthly salaries rose on average 0.7%, resulting in an annual salary of $33,400. The average hours worked per month increased by 0.5%, adding up to a 25.8-hour workweek. While these were the largest percentage gains since December 2009, the numbers reveal many small business employees are part-time workers. The government's jobs report, due April 6, will shed further light on the unemployment rate.
How Big Business Policies Can Promote Small Business Interests – The Washington Post
Business owners and researchers testified before the House Committee on Small Business this week on the growing dependence between multinational corporations and small businesses. Increasingly, small and big business depend on each other for innovation, supply needs, and mentorship. The average American multinational corporation spends about $3.27 billion on goods and services at more than 6,000 American small businesses, adding up to about $1.52 trillion that large firms spend on small companies every year. Small businesses can also benefit from accessing large supply networks and big corporations' mentoring programs. Hearing witnesses urged Congress to promote development programs, reduce regulations, and remove barriers to collaboration between big and small business.
IPO Market Heats Up, More Startups Going Public – Seattle PI
The strengthening U.S. economy is prompting more startups to go public. First quarter 2012 saw more IPOs than all those since Q2 2011. New stocks over the last three months gained on average 13% on their first trading day, the best results since 2008. Yet, high gas prices, unemployment rates, and troubles in Europe can hurt growth, making it unclear whether the IPO recovery will be permanent. While IPOs raised $5.5 billion so far this year, that is less than half of the $13 billion raised during Q1 2011.
Although the venture capital world is male-dominated, America may finally be moving into a new era of female entrepreneurs. There are more opportunities to form the deep business networks that foster deal making while studying at startup hubs like Stanford. There is still a large gap; according to a 2010 report by CB Insights, 8% of venture-backed startups had a female founder. However, recent changes, like cloud-based technologies and new sources of financing, may prove to help more female entrepreneurs reach the million-dollar ceiling.
In other news…
Obama Shifts View of Executive Power – The Wall Street Journal
Reid: No Recess Appointments This Time – The Hill
IT Jobs Will Grow 22% Through 2020, Says U.S – Computerworld
Unemployment Claims in U.S. Fall to Four-Year Low: Economy – San Francisco Chronicle
More Reasons Not to Spy on Potential Hires – Businessweek
PayPal’s New Leader to Bring Entrepreneurial Vibe to Payments – All Things Digital