Experimental Estimates of Wages and Gross Output by Business Size and Industry, 2002-2012 (PDF)

This paper presents experimental estimates of wages and gross output by business size and industry sector for 2002-2012. We find small businesses, those employing less than 100 workers, experienced relatively slower growth between 2002 and 2012 for both wages and gross output compared to larger businesses. Very small businesses, those with less than 20 employees, experienced the slowest growth across all business sizes for both wages and gross output (2.3% and 3.2%, respectively). Additionally, the industry composition for small businesses was different than the industry composition for medium and large businesses. The industry with the greatest share of wages for very small and small businesses in 2012 was professional, scientific, and technical services (17% and 14%, respectively), whereas manufacturing had the greatest share for medium businesses (16%) and health care and social assistance had the greatest share for large businesses (14%). These estimates provide new and important information to policymakers and researchers to better understand the role of small, medium, and large businesses in the US economy.

Tina Highfill and Erich H. Strassner