New business application data show US entrepreneurship has leveled off

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US business application volume currently hovers between the 400,000 to 450,000. Image: Unsplash/Tim Mossholder

Clarisa Diaz
Multimedia Reporter, Quartz
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United States

  • US entrepreneurship levels hovered at the 250,000 in the years leading up to the pandemic.
  • 2020 saw a sharp rise in US business applications, but this has plateaued in the past year.
  • Retail has been a dominant area of the growth.

Business applications in the US surged during the pandemic. But while numbers remain higher than years before, entrepreneurship appears to be leveling off, data from the US Census Bureau released yesterday show. Overall the report shows applications for tax identification numbers increased 4.1% from December to January.

A chart to show total US business applications
Professional services, construction and transportation and warehousing have been popular industries to set up businesses in Image: Quartz/US Census Bureau, Business Formation Statistics

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There were 430,411 applications of which 12% were from corporations.

More businesses for retail

Retail trade continued to have the most business applications and the largest growth. Applications grew 21.6% month-to-month for goods sellers. The top industries for new businesses included professional services, construction, and transportation and warehousing though they all saw drops from December.

A chart to show US business applications by top industries
Following the sharp rise, business applications took a sharp dip before rebounding Image: Quartz/US Census Bureau, Business Formation Statistics
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