Higher Sales and Wages in Male-Owned Firms

By Oregon Employment Department,

In 2012, the U.S. Census estimates Oregon had 339,000 firms. Of these, 331,000 were classifiable by gender, ethnicity, or race. Men owned half of these firms, while women owned 37 percent, and equally male/female owned businesses made up 13 percent of the total.

Although men’s firm ownership share was proportionate with the state’s population (50%), male-owned firms made up 75 percent of all firm sales and receipts in Oregon. Equally male/female owned firms accounted for 13 percent of sales and receipts, the same as the share of total firms. Sales and receipts from female-owned businesses made up a smaller share (12%) of total sales and receipts than their firm ownership share. Oregon’s male-owned firms with payroll employees also paid higher average wages ($39,000) than their female-owned counterparts ($28,600).

This disparity in firm sales and receipts and average wages can be partially attributed to the industry distribution of firms by male and female ownership. Oregon industries with the largest sales, receipts, or value of shipments in 2012 included wholesale trade, retail trade, manufacturing, and construction. The number of male-owned firms in these industries totaled 48,900. By comparison, women owned less than half as many firms (20,900) in these sectors.

Oregon’s top-paying industries also had far more firms owned by men. Male-owned businesses made up 61 percent of the total in management of companies and enterprises, which paid an average of $69,200 in 2012. Men owned roughly two-thirds of all finance and insurance firms ($60,000), as well as all mining and quarrying businesses ($56,400).

Still, in industries where both men and women had high concentrations of firm ownership, the male-owned businesses with payroll employees reported higher average wages. Female-owned retail trade businesses (13,700) outnumbered retail businesses owned by men (12,500). The average wage at the female-owned businesses was $25,300, while the average wage at male-owned retail firms was $28,900.

To learn more about female-owned firms, read Senior Economic Analyst Gail Krumenauer’s article “Business Ownership by Gender in Oregon”. 

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