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Fun With Statistics

by Luke Greiner
February 2016

Minnesota is home to almost 389,000 nonemployer business establishments generating more than $17 billion in gross sales. A nonemployer business is one that has no paid employees, has annual business receipts of $1,000 or more ($1 or more in the Construction industries), and is subject to federal income taxes. Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating very small unincorporated businesses, which may or may not be the owner’s principal source of income. Many small employers begin as a “nonemployer” and transform into an employer as their business expands beyond the ability of a single owner/operator.

Statewide, the largest numbers of nonemployer businesses are found in the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services industry with roughly 15% of all establishments, generating more than $2 billion worth of sales. The second most common industry among nonemployers is the Other Services industry with almost 51,000 workers and average annual gross sales per business of $26,178 per year. The Other Services industry includes business such as auto repair shops, hair salons, drycleaning services, and pet boarding establishments.

2003- to- 2013 County Highlights

  • 53 of Minnesota’s 87 counties increased the number of nonemployer establishments from 2003 to 2013.
  • Carver County’s nonemployers grew the fastest from 2003 to 2013, increasing 26% with an additional 1,552 establishments.
  • Hennepin County gained the most net new nonemployer establishments, increasing 15,573 to 99,234 establishments by 2013. Hennepin County also has the largest amount of nonemployer establishments.
  • Norman County (82%), Cottonwood County (74%), Yellow Medecine (60.4%) all increased gross sales from nonemployer businesses by more than 60 percent from 2003 – 2013.

Click on your county using the interactive tool below to see how nonemployer trends have changed from 1998 to 2013. The additional dropdown menu allows you to select specific industries.

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