In 2015, some 414,000 new businesses were created, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. While that's a slight increase from the previous year, it's still far less than the 558,000 companies formed in 2006, the year before the recession hit.
The cause of that downturn may be that big businesses are eliminating their competition. For example, popular startups like Instagram and YouTube were acquired by Facebook and Google, respectively, instead of fighting for prominence in the same market, experts told The Times.
On a wider scale, the startup slump means the country isn't experiencing the same economic dynamism that it once did. Small businesses spur the economy by inventing new products and forcing other companies to compete. What's more, startups have historically been job creators.
"Everybody loves entrepreneurship, but they're not aware it's in trouble," John Dearie, the president of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, told The Times. "If new businesses are the engine of net new job creation, and if new businesses are the engine of innovation, and new business creation is at 30-year lows, that's a national emergency."