Small companies -- those with 500 or fewer employees -- employ somewhat more than half of the U.S. workforce. Calculate the percentage of small-company employees by one method, and you get 58%. Use another method, and you get 53%. Either way it's a big group of people.
Where do they work? In the construction, services, retail-trade, and wholesale-trade industries, small companies employ more workers than large and midsize companies do. Within those broad sectors the highest percentage of jobs provided by small companies, compared with those provided by midsize or large companies, can be found in eating and drinking establishments, health services, and business services.
What does small business really look like? Compared with large-company employees, small-company workers are slightly more likely to be male and to be either white or Hispanic. Small-company employees are also more likely to be a bit younger or a bit older than their big-business counterparts. And on the whole small-company workers are less well educated than employees of large companies.