WASHINGTON - Small business drives the U.S. economy by providing jobs for over half of the private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Advocacy. In addition, the latest figures show that small businesses with fewer than 20 employees increased employment by 853,074 during 2001-2002.

These and other statistics outlining small business' contribution to the economy are contained in the Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, 2005 Edition issued by the SBA's Office of Advocacy.

"Small business drives the American economy," said Dr. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the Office of Advocacy. "Main Street provides the jobs and spurs our economic growth. American entrepreneurs are creative and productive, and these numbers prove it."

Office of Advocacy data and research show that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all firms, they create more than half of the private nonfarm gross domestic product, and they create 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs.

In 2004, there were an estimated 23,974,500 businesses in the U.S. Of the 5,683,700 firms with employees, 5,666,600 were small firms (fewer than 500 employees).

In 2004, there was strong growth of 7.3 percent in proprietor's income. Business bankruptcies decreased by 2.1 percent and self-employment increased by 2.2 percent. This and other data for each state and territory are available in individual economic profiles on the Office of Advocacy Web site at www.sba.gov/advo/research/profiles.

Publication date: 08/22/2005