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21 August 2005 

I had the good fortune to attend a presentation by a ReferenceUSA representative the other day at my library. From the workforce librarian standpoint, the highlight from the talk for me was the statistics about U.S. Businesses.

When I was still an undergraduate in computer science, the buzz was always about working for Microsoft, IBM, NSA, Google, etc. However, when the tech bubble burst and the bigger companies began having layoffs, the "end is nigh" signs went up and the spirits of aspiring computer scientists plummeted down.

Now, according to ReferenceUSA's handout about "Total Business Counts By Employee Size", there are 202,389 companies with 100+ employees in the United States. That is equivalent to 2% of all U.S. Businesses; approximately 6000 were publicly traded companies.

That meant that CS students were applying to 2% of all companies (if we did apply to all in the first place!). Instead, 7,219,689 companies with 1-4 employees made up 63%. If you decided to include companies with 5-9 employees, you were staring at an additional 2,279,139 companies or 18%. Between those two groups, you would be applying to 81% of the companies in the U.S!

Moral of the story: Remind job seekers to look at the little guys because they hire too!