Businesses Without Employees See Big Growth By Corilyn Shropshire

By Corilyn Shropshire
Chicago Tribune.

The U.S. gained more than 4 million businesses without paid employees, also known as non-employer businesses, over the past decade, according to a new report from the Census Bureau.

The businesses, which range from home-based bloggers to dry cleaners and family-owned corner stores, grew to 23 million in 2013, from 18.6 million in 2003.

Most of the gains in non-employer establishments were in what is known as the “other services” sector, which includes a range of service-oriented businesses like equipment and machinery repair; promoting or administering religious activities; grant making; advocacy; and providing personal care services, death services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services and dating services.

Other categories that saw large gains include warehousing, transportation and real estate/rental/leasing, according to census data.

“In some cases, the business may be the owner’s primary source of income, such as with real estate agents and physicians, but in other instances, they may operate the business as a side job, such as with baby-sitting and tutoring,” said William Bostic Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate director for economic programs.

In 2013, Florida posted the highest number of non-employer businesses with more than 1.8 million establishments.

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