With Jobs in Short Supply, St. Louis Residents Turn Entrepreneur

If you can't work for others...


Many of the lost jobs haven't returned, and many of the shuttered offices are still closed, but in the years leading up to the recession through the first part of the sluggish recovery one type of area business has seen a steady rise:

The kind with no employees.

Throughout the past decade, the number of businesses in the St. Louis area that the U.S. Census Bureau labels as nonemployers – companies with no employees and receipts of more than $1,000 — has consistently grown, and in recent years, the city of St. Louis has experienced an especially sharp jump.

Between 2006 and 2011 — the most recent year data were available — the number of nonemployers in the city rose by 36 percent, to 21,719 from 15,963, far above the gradual increases seen across Missouri and the rest of the nation.