5 Facts to Know About Microbusiness Employers

  1. Microbusiness employers (firms with 1-9 employees) are the most common kind of firm, but account for a relatively small share of employment. America’s 3.8 million microbusiness employers made up 74.8 percent of all private-sector employers in 2016, but provided just 10.3 percent of private-sector jobs. In addition to microbusiness employers, there were another 24 million non-employer businesses (tax-paying firms with no paid employees) in 2015.
  2. Microbusiness employers’ share of employment is declining. Microbusiness employers’ share of private-sector employment dropped from over 14 percent in 1985 to 11 percent (13 million employees) in 2014.
  3. Most microbusiness employer firms are more than five years old. In 2014, 64 percent of microbusinesses were over five years old, and these firms held 67 percent of microbusiness employment.
  4. Microbusiness hiring has an oversized role in employment. Microbusiness employers accounted for 11 percent of the 13.7 million private-sector net job gains from 2010 to mid-2016, with 70 percent of those gains coming from business turnover (new firm job gains minus closure job losses) as opposed to existing firms.
  5. Finance, insurance and real estate has the highest share of microbusinesses. In 2014, the “finance, insurance and real estate” industry had the highest share of microbusiness employers at 86 percent, while “agriculture, forestry, and fishing (minus farms)” had the highest share of employment at 31 percent. iBi

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

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