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Report: Small business driving jobs activity in N.J., nation

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Small businesses are typically referred to as economic engines, but a new report by the advocacy office of the U.S. Small Business Administration shows just how crucial a role their growth and hiring practices played in New Jersey during the recovery years of 2009 and 2010.

According to the SBA’s latest analysis, New Jersey firms with less than five employees added a net total of 18,266 jobs in 2009 and 2010, while firms with headcounts between five and 499 employees shed a net total of 145,816 jobs during those years, and large companies eliminated a net total of 108,681 positions in that time period.

The state trend reflected the national data: U.S. companies with less than five employees added 993,579 jobs in 2009 and 2010, while firms with between five and 499 employees lost 4,734,598 jobs throughout that time period.

“From coast to coast, states all across the nation are depending on small businesses to lead them out of this economic downturn,” said Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for advocacy at the SBA, in a statement. “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.”

Though the smallest businesses in New Jersey produced the largest employment growth in the state following the recession, their counterparts in neighboring states created a greater net total of jobs in 2009 and 2010.

In Pennsylvania, companies with less than five employees created a net total of 33,556 new jobs in those two years, and in New York, business of that size added a net total of  87,601 new jobs in that time period.

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