New businesses are getting off the ground with nearly half as many workers as they did a decade ago, as the spread of online tools and other resources enables start-ups to do more with less. The change, which began before the recession, may be permanent, according to some analysts.
"There's something long-term at work here," says Dane Stangler, research director at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo., research group.
Start-ups are now being launched with an average of 4.9 employees, down from 7.5 in the 1990s, according to a recent Kauffman Foundation study. In 2009, new independent businesses created a total of 2.3 million jobs, more than 700,000 fewer jobs than the annual average through 2008, the study found.
Meanwhile, the overall number of start-ups has "held steady or even edged up since the recession," according to the study
The problem is so much is happening so fast.