Sign up for email updates from SBAReceive helpful business tips and upcoming events in your area.

Louisiana Small Businesses Employ 54.5 Percent of Private-Sector Workers, Key to Economic Recovery

Release Date: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Release Number: 13-03
Contact: Brad Howard (202) 205-6941

Small Businesses Employ 54.5 Percent of Private-Sector Workers, Key to Economic Recovery

Small businesses significantly impact Louisiana’s economy, employing 871,369 workers in 2010 with most of the employment coming from firms with 20 – 499 employees, according to a new state-by-state report released today by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy.

The Small Business Profile for the States and Territories, an annual analysis of each state’s small businesses, also finds that self-employment in Louisiana improved over the last decade, while minority self-employment saw the largest growth. All in all, Louisiana’s 419,795 small businesses represent 97.4 percent of all employers, and they employ 54.5 percent of the private-sector labor force. Nationwide, there are 27.8 million small businesses representing 99.7 percent of all employers and employing nearly half – 49.1 percent – of the private-sector labor force.

“Like many states across the nation, small businesses are helping to strengthen the economy in Louisiana,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “Most of the country’s small businesses continue to be very small, having fewer than 20 employees, but they paint a big picture of a recovering America. Advocacy’s analysis gives us a clear understanding of just how important small businesses are in Louisiana.”

Louisiana’s small business profile contains detailed information about the number and type of businesses in the state, business owner demographics, industrial makeup, business turnover and income and finance. Most data are also presented in comparison with similar data over time. Each state’s small business profile can be read or downloaded by visiting the Office of Advocacy’s website at

Highlights of the Louisiana small business profile include:

Overall Economy

  • Louisiana’s economy was strong in 2011, with real gross state product increasing 6.6 percent and private-sector employment increasing 1.8 percent.
  • The state’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percent in 2011.
  • During the midst of the economic recession, the employment situation from 2007-2010 was up, and small businesses in Louisiana represented all of the net new jobs.

Small Businesses

  • Small businesses in Louisiana employed 871,369 workers in 2010, with most of the employment coming from firms with 20 – 499 employees.
  • Most of the state’s small businesses are very small as 80.7 percent of all businesses have no employees, and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.
  • In 2011, the number of opening establishments was higher than closing establishments, resulting in a positive change in net employment.


  • Self-employment in Louisiana improved over the last decade by 11.6 percent.
  • Minority self-employment saw the largest growth in Louisiana over the last decade.



Encore Entrepreneurs

An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business


Need Help Writing a Business Plan? Our step-by-step tool makes it easy.  Start Your plan.

Get Local Assistance Right in Your Area

Counseling, mentoring, and training from an SBA District Office, SCORE Chapter, Small Biz Development Center or Women’s Biz Center in your area.