America’s surprisingly tiny small-business sector

The one thing every American politician can agree on is that small businesses are a crucial driver of the U.S. economy. So it’s somewhat surprising to discover that, as John Schmitt of the Center on Economic and Policy Research points out, the United States actually has the smallest small-business sector among wealthy countries. Here’s a chart, using data from OECD’s Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2011 , showing that the United States has the lowest share of employees in enterprises with 50 or fewer employees:

And, conversely, the United States has the largest share of workers in big enterprises — defined as companies with 250 or more workers:

But in an earlier paper with Nathan Lane, Schmitt argued argued that the most likely explanation for the difference between the United States and the rest of the world was health care: “The high cost to self-employed workers and small businesses of the private, employer-based health care system in place in the United States may act as a significant deterrent to small start-up companies, an experience not shared by entrepreneurs in countries with universal access to health care.”

Source: WonkBlog, Brad Plumer


About James Crist

How do we stop America's decline? The country is in trouble and we can all feel it. Where did we go wrong? How do we fix it? We now have an auction-based government, for sale to the highest bidder. Politicians have become nothing more than corporate whores and pawns for the rich. If we want our representatives to represent us, let them get their campaign money from us, their constituents. We have to amend the constitution to get the big money out of politics.
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