As more and more small businesses in the US are established, the number of small business employees has naturally also increased.
In 2019, the number of employees in a small business in the US hit 59.9 million. This means that small business employees make up 47.3 percent of the total number of US employees.
Even though this marks a 1.7 percent increase from 2018’s 58.9 million, it’s one of the slowest increases over the past few years. In comparison, the growth rates for 2017 and 2018 were 1.94 percent and 1.73 percent respectively.
In the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, the US economy added 3.1 million small business employees to its workforce—a 5.46 percent increase.
How Many Employees Does a Small Business Have
According to the US Small Business Administration, “small businesses” are defined as companies that hire fewer than 500 employees.
Of the 59.9 million small business employees, just over two-thirds work in businesses with 99 or fewer employees. The remaining are employed by small businesses with between 100 and 499 workers.
Number of Employees in a Small Business by State
As the US’s most populous state with nearly 40 million residents, it should come as no surprise that the West Coast state of California is also home to the biggest number of small business employees.
There are 7.1 million small business employees in California, which is 48.8 percent of the state’s total number of employees. It also means that approximately 18 percent of its population work in small businesses. Incidentally, the two biggest shipping ports in the US are also located in California.
The state with the second-highest number of employees in a small business is Texas. At 4.7 million, they represent around 16 percent of the state’s overall population.
New York, Florida, and Illinois round up the top five states with 4.1 million, 3.4 million, and 2.5 million respectively.
On the other end of the spectrum, Wyoming is the state with the fewest small business employees.
Here are the five states with the fewest employees in a small business:
- Wyoming: 131,499
- Alaska: 141,147
- Vermont: 161,080
- Delaware: 187,556
- North Dakota: 198,964