Recovery Slow to Come to Smallest Businesses
Nonemployer Statistics from the Census Bureau were released this week. It is an annual series that provides subnational economic data for businesses that have no paid employees and are subject to federal income tax. These types of individuals make up a substantial but less talked about cohort of small business owners in America. In fact, the majority of all business establishments in the United States are nonemployers, yet these firms average less than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally. According to the release, this group of small business owners failed to recoup any of the losses since the financial crisis. These businesses on average lost $1,000 in revenue from 2008 to 2009, or 2.5 percent of sales, and they didn’t make up that difference in 2010, the first year of growth after the downturn, reports Bloomberg.
John Tozzi continues, “they’re heavily concentrated in construction, real estate, professional services, retail, and health care. In Census jargon, these ventures are known as “nonemployers,” or any business that’s run just by the owners, with no one else on the payroll. Think of accountants or psychologists who work out of their homes, or solo workers like carpenters, truckers, and real estate agents. Together, nonemployers have nearly $1 trillion in revenue, or more than 6 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. The Census data, based on tax returns, don’t yet go beyond 2010, and a change in methodology makes it difficult to compare in detail with years before 2008. Despite these limitations, we know the average nonemployer had revenue of $43,600 in 2008. The next year, that figure dropped to $42,500, and recovered to only $43,000 in 2010…”
Source - BusinessWeek