Large businesses outpaced small businesses in terms of employment in 2012

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In a report from the U.S. Census Bureau out this week, data show that big business (those with more than 500 employees) represented 51.6 percent of the workforce in 2012, the latest year with available figures.

In 2003, big business employed 49.3 percent of the workforce.

Enterprises with fewer than 500 employees employed 50.7 percent of the workforce in 2003. That figure declined below the majority, to 48.4 percent, in 2012, the bureau reported.

Large businesses topped employment figures in the most populated sectors — health/social assistance and retail trade — and only in the third-place accommodation/food services sector did smaller business offer the higher employment figure.

Large enterprises employed 59.8 million people while smaller businesses employed 56 million, the report stated.

And workers at large businesses received an average annual pay of $52,554, while those at smaller concerns earned $40,446.

The report delineated earnings for workers in several employment sub-sectors.

In Washington, according to this week’s data, workers at smaller enterprises earned an average $41,765, while those employed by the largest businesses earned $63,026.

The largest businesses in the state delivered the higher payroll in 2012 at $71.3 billion, compared with $51.3 billion.

However, the smaller businesses in Washington employed 1.23 million people, compared with 1.13 million employed by the largest enterprises.