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Do black-owned businesses employ minority workers? new evidence


Most of the workers employed by black-owned businesses are minorities. This pattern typifies small firms as well as large firms, firms in blue collar industries such as construction as well as in white collar industries such as finance. The hypothesis that reliance upon minority workers may restrict the viability of black firms is tested and rejected; there appears to be no relationship between firm viability and labor force racial composition.

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  1. United States Commission on Civil Rights, “Minority and Women Set-Aside Statement,” unpublished paper (March 1986), p. 2.

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  3. Bureau of the Census,1982 Characteristics of Business Owners (Washington, U.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1987).

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  5. Timothy Bates, “An Analysis of Minority Entrepreneurship Utilizing the Census of Population Public Use Samples,” final report to the Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce (January 1986), p. 78.

  6. Brown, “Black Labor Forces,” p. 120.

  7. Bates, “An Analysis,” pp. 75-7.

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Bates, T. Do black-owned businesses employ minority workers? new evidence. Rev Black Polit Econ 16, 51–64 (1988).

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