This week the Office of Advocacy released its 2009 edition of small business profiles. On the website, you will find an array of two-page small business economic profiles for the nation, each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Each is loaded with the most current available data on the demographics of business owners, the numbers of businesses, their employment by industry and size, business openings and closings, gross domestic and state product, and the employment picture.
As noted, there are statistics galore. But what’s the story?
Perusing a number of the individual state profiles, I began to notice a pattern in the 2008 data. It seemed that many of the states with the largest shares of small business employment—states like Wyoming and North Dakota, Alaska, and Oklahoma, with between 54 and nearly 70 percent of their employment in small businesses—were often also states with positive—or at least less negative—employment change in 2008. Conversely, states with the lowest employment in small firms—say, between 44 and 49 percent—often had larger overall statewide employment losses—between 1 and 4 percent—in 2008.
This suggested to me that there are some interesting patterns to be found in the data. Take a look at patterns across the years too—there are state profiles on the web going back to 2005.
Dig in, data miners!