Size of Firm Report 2018 – Union County

by Christopher Rich

November 28, 2018

Roughly 93 percent of Union County’s privately owned firms employed fewer than 20 workers in the first quarter of 2018. Altogether, these small firms accounted for 42 percent of the county’s private-sector workforce and 31 percent of private-sector wages. The majority of firms employed from one to four workers and the second largest group of firms employed from five to nine workers. The third largest group of firms had zero employees.

Firms with zero employees accounted for a relatively large portion of private-sector firms; nearly one out of every five firms. For this report, a firm was designated a size class based on their March 2018 employment level. The majority of firms in Union County with zero employees in March had from one to four employees in one or more months during 2017. Some of these firms had from one to four employees in January or February 2018, but none in March. Many firms in this size class are in industries that have a seasonal trend. They likely hire a small number of workers during peak season, or for special projects, and let them go when demand has softened.
The other side of the story is that 7 percent of Union County’s privately owned firms employed 20 or more workers. These 56 firms accounted for 58 percent of Union’s private-sector workforce and the majority (69%) of private-sector wages. The lion’s share of this came from 12 firms that employed from 50 to 99 workers and from six firms that employed from 100 to 249 workers. These 18 large firms accounted for 41 percent of private employment and slightly more than half of all private-sector wages in the first quarter of 2018. Note that data pertaining to the 250 or more size class in Union County cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality. However, if this data were included in the analysis, then firms employing 50 or more workers would account for a much larger portion of Union’s private-sector employment and wages.

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