Businesses without paid employees are growing

The number of U.S. businesses without any paid employees grew 1.7 percent to 22.5 million in 2011, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

That kind of business grew 1.5 percent in the Kansas City area to 136,794.

The most recent statistics available, based on Internal Revenue Service data, show a consistent growth trend for such “non-employer businesses” since 2008, both nationally and for the Kansas City area.

The report covers sole proprietorships, corporations and partnerships that reported no paid employees. That represents about three-fourths of all U.S. business locations, according to William Bostic Jr., associate director for economic programs at the Census Bureau.

The national 2011 report listed 19.4 million sole proprietorships, 1.4 million corporations and 1.6 million partnerships that had no paid employees.

The biggest growth in non-employer businesses was in the service sector, which includes automotive repair, barbershops, beauty salons, laundries and dry cleaners, the bureau said.

Total 2011 receipts reported for non-employer businesses were $989.6 billion, an increase of $38.8 billion, or 4.1 percent, from 2010.

For the Kansas City area, reported receipts by non-employer businesses were nearly $5.8 billion in 2011.