Magic, from Stephen Jovanovich

December 17, 2009 |

The Census Bureau, those irreproachables, have provided us with their latest Statistical Abstract. It notes that for 2008 the United States as a whole had 10.5% more business deaths than births. California, our ever golden state, had 45.1% more business "deaths" than "births"; overall, we lost 47,000 employers in last year. The other states with comparable numbers for employer closures compared to startups in 2008 were:

* Michigan, 55.1%
* Missouri, 41.4%
* West Virginia, 38.1%
* Rhode Island, 34.7%
* Arizona, 33.9%

Only 10 states had more employers open than close in 2008. The largest gainers were Texas (34.6%) and Utah (27.9%). Louisiana came third (a 19.6% increase) but that number needs to be viewed in light of the destruction of employers in the previous year as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Yet, somehow, magically, according to the BLS, employment in the United States in 2008 increased by 825,000 as a result of net new business formation.


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