The Size of Business Report
for the Third Quarter (July to September) of 2009 is now online. It provides data at the state, county, and metropolitan area levels. Tables for California and the metropolitan areas include breakouts at the major industry levels.
Businesses are grouped by nine size categories:
* 0 to 4 employees
* 5 to 9 employees
* 10 to 19 employees
* 20 to 49 employees
* 50 to 99 employees
* 100 to 249 employees
* 250 to 499 employees
* 500 to 999 employees
* 1,000 or more employees
In the third quarter of 2009, California reported 1,347,245 businesses with 14,498,327 employees and payroll of 178.4 billion dollars.
One of the more interesting comparisons using these data is the distribution of businesses and employment within the size classes. As in recent years,
96 percent of the more than 1.3 million businesses in California have less than 50 employees.
Additionally, the smallest size class (0 to 4 employees) accounts for 71.6 percent of the businesses in the State, but only employ 7.6 percent of California's workers. In contrast, the largest size class (1,000+ employees) accounts for only 0.1 percent of the businesses in the State but comprise 14.4 percent of the California's workers.
When looking at the data compared to the third quarter of 2008, the number of businesses grew slightly by 0.7 percent, employment declined by 6.6 percent, and payroll declined by 7.4 percent.
While this comparison shows some growth in businesses and a decline in employment, the breakdown by industry provides a picture of California's current economic state.
When we concentrate on the largest firms with 250 or more employees, the industries with the greatest declines in employment for this size category are services (-89,536), manufacturing (-60,620), and construction (-36,890).
The Size of Business report is released annually in the fall using data from the third quarter which is the most seasonally stable quarter.