The type of firms in Florida is changing, with non-employer firms, or firms without any paid employees, increasingly representing a larger percentage share.
Per the U.S. Census Bureau, non-employer firms are mostly self-employed individuals whose businesses may or may not provide their primary source of income. Both statewide and nationally, the sales receipts from these firms average approximately four percent of all sales.
Between 2007 and 2012 represented the first period in twenty years where the percentage of firms with employees had declined (-5.1%).
This is likely a result of the 2007 Great Recession. During that same time, non-employer firms continued to grow (7.0%), albeit at a slower rate than in previous periods (Figure 1).
The top ten industries for non-employer firms in the state of Florida include: all other personal services; janitorial services; offices of real estate agents and brokers; beauty salons; all other professional, scientific, and technical services; other activities related to real estate; home health care services; independent artists, writers, and performers; other direct selling establishments; and landscaping services. Many of the jobs associated with these industries are flexible enabling individuals to go into business for themselves on the side of permanent employment elsewhere and can often be done without the need for other employees.
This article is a series as part of the 2016 State of Small Business Report: Small Business and Its Impact on Florida, a report developed by the Florida SBDC Network in collaboration with the University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity. To read the full report, please click here.