Small Business Profiles Offer Valuable Insight into States’ Economies in 2015

Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories

The Office of Advocacy released a new report, Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, an annual snapshot of state-level small business activity which includes information on the number of firms, employment, demographics and other topics using the most recently available government data.

“The United States’ 28.4 million small businesses play a vital role in our economy,” said Christine Kymn, Advocacy’s chief economist and director of economic research. “Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses with employees and employ about 56 million members of the nation’s private-sector workforce. The Office of Advocacy notes that this year’s state profiles signal improving conditions for small businesses and in turn, their respective state economies. We hope to see further improvements in 2015.”

Some highlights of the profile include:

  • Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment.
  • The top three small business industries with the most jobs include health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and retail trade.
  • In 2013, 630,357 establishments opened, and 79.5 percent survived through 2014.

The report includes breakdowns of the top 10 states in a variety of categories. These top ten lists provide valuable insights into which individual states are showing upward trends in small business growth.

For example, Montana tops the lists of states with the highest share of small firm employment in 2012, with 67.6 percent, followed by Wyoming with 62.3 percent and South Dakota with 59.2 percent (Table 1).

Also of note are the states with the highest self-employment rate in 2013. Montana and Vermont top the list, each with 13.6 percent of citizens self-employed, followed by South Dakota with 13.1 percent (Table 2).

The states with the most small establishments surviving for a year (2013-2014) are Washington, with 87.4 percent, followed by Delaware with 84.7 percent and Wisconsin, with 83.1 (Table 3).

North Dakota has the highest rate of private sector employment growth from October 2013-2014. Second highest is Texas and third is Utah (Table 4).

In addition to the detailed state profiles, Advocacy has also made available on their website extensive additional data on business turnover, income and finance, and exporting. You can also find statistics broken down by industry type and the top industries by demographic group.

The state profiles can be found on Advocacy’s website here.

Table 1, Table 2

sp table 3-4

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