US Census Bureau


Guide to the
1997 Economic Census

Nonemployer Statistics

Nonemployer Statistics summarizes the number of establishments and sales or receipts of companies with no paid employees. These nonemployers are typically self-employed individuals or partnerships operating businesses that they have not chosen to incorporate. (Self-employed owners of incorporated businesses typically pay themselves wages or salary, so that the business is an employer.)

Because payroll tax records are at the heart of the Census Bureau's system for keeping track of businesses between censuses, nonemployers do not get census questionnaires and are not reflected in any of the other Core Business Statistics reports or detailed sector-specific reports. (Nonemployers are, however, included in "all firms" totals in reports on minority- and women-owned business, and data may be derived by subtracting "firms with paid employees" from "all firms".)

In terms of sales or receipts, nonemployers account for roughly 3% of business activity.

At the same time nonemployers account for nearly 3/4 of all businesses. Most nonemployer businesses are very small, and many are not the primary source of income for their owners.

Changes between 1992 and 1997.
  • For the first time Nonemployer Statistics cover all sectors of the economy.
  • Nonemployer Statistics for 1997 are shown for the U.S., states, metro areas, and counties, but not for places.

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