As more and more small businesses in the US are established, the number of small business employees has naturally also increased.

In 2020, the number of employees in a small business in the US hit 60.6 million. This means that small business employees make up 47.1 percent of the total number of US employees.

Even though this marks a 1.17 percent increase from 2019’s 59.9 million, it’s one of the slowest increases over the past few years. In comparison, the growth rates for 2018 and 2019 were 1.73 percent and 1.70 percent respectively.

From 2017 to 2020, the US economy added 2.7 million small business employees to its workforce—a 4.66 percent increase over the three-year period. 

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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 60.6 million small business employees, around 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

There are 7.2 million small business employees in California, which is 48.5 percent of the state’s total number of employees. It also means that approximately 18 percent of its population is employed by 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 4.8 million, they represent 45.1 percent of the state’s total number of employees.

New York has the third most small business employees with 4.1 million while Florida comes in fourth with 3.5 million small business employees. Illinois and Pennsylvania are in joint fifth place with 2.5 million each.

At the bottom of the list, Wyoming is the state with the fewest small business employees. 

Here are the five states with the fewest employees in a small business:

  1. Wyoming: 128,883
  2. Alaska: 137,271
  3. Vermont: 157,322
  4. Delaware: 187,221
  5. North Dakota: 195,312

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