In 1999, big companies, those employing 500 or more workers, employed 49.7% of the nation’s 111 million workers, compared to 45.5% 11 years previously. If the data is extrapolated, the figure probably passed 50% in 2000, the SBA says.
In addition, nearly 17,000 large companies accounted for about 55 million employees.
According to a USA Today report citing the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the shift means that more people will be covered by company benefits.
According to EBRI:
- about 82% of big employers offer health insurance, compared to 68% of small firms,79% of employees at bigger companies have retirement plans, versus 46% of employees at small companies
- But small firms still have some clout. Almost 90% of the US’s 5.6 million employers have fewer than 20 workers. And smaller businesses create 75% of new jobs
And small firms may temporarily regain an edge on employment when SBA figures for 2001 are released in the fall next year – since large companies cut a record 2 million jobs last year.