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Q: How many employees does the average US company have? Also average turnover. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: How many employees does the average US company have? Also average turnover.
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: kidwicked-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 23 Nov 2003 18:46 PST
Expires: 23 Dec 2003 18:46 PST
Question ID: 279843
Hi, I'd like to know two things.

1.  How many employees does the average US company have?

2.  What is the turnover of the average US company?

I am ideally looking for figures that represent ALL the companies in the US,
but I realize that data might be difficult to acquire (since I do not
know if all US companys have to disclose such information, for

I would therefore settle for figures that refered to a meaningful
subset of the US.  For example: "The average public company in the
state of California has 500 employees and a turnover of $2 million."

I need to be able to cite a reference so please state your reputable source.

Many thanks!
Subject: Re: How many employees does the average US company have? Also average turnover.
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 23 Nov 2003 21:44 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello kidwicked,

Thanks for an interesting question ( intriguing name, to boot).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS (Job Openings and
Labor Turnover) data, which can be found here:

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Estimates: August 2002 - August 2003

...the turnover rate for the month of August 2003 (the most recent
data available) was 3.7%.  A year earlier, in August 2002, the monthly
rate had been at its high for the year of 4.1%.

The number means that during the month of August 2003, 3.7% of the
workforce "turned over", that is, left their job.  This includes those
who were fired, quit, retired, changed jobs, returned to school, etc.

Another way of looking at turnover, I suppose, is the Years of Tenure
data, also collected by BLS, which can be seen here:

Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and
salary workers by age and sex, selected years, 1983-2002

The Table shows that the average (median) length of time for someone
16 years or older to have been in their job is 3.7 years (as of
January 2002).  Additional details are provided for discrete age


In the Statistical Abstracts of the United States, there is a Table 713 entitled:

Establishments, Employees and Payroll by Employment-Size Class

which can be found here:

and which tells us the following data for the year 2000:

Total number of establishments in the US........7,070,000

Total number of employees.....................114,065,000

Simple calculation then tells us that the average number of employees
per establishement is:

114,065,000 / 7,070,000 =  16.1 employees per firm

This may seem like a fairly small number until one remembers that most
businesses in the US are small businesses, including many where an
individual has set up shop for themselves, and their business has only
one employee.

Additional data in the table will show you the numbers of employees
working for firms of different sizes.

I hope this is the information you were looking for.  If anything here
needs additional explanation, just let me know by posting a Request
for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist you further.


search strategy:  Used existing bookmarks to explore data at BLS and
in the Statistical Abstracts.
kidwicked-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Excellent answer - exactly what I was looking for.  Many thanks pafalafa-ga!

Subject: Re: How many employees does the average US company have? Also average turnover.
From: pafalafa-ga on 24 Nov 2003 04:50 PST
Glad to be of service.  Thanks for the kind rating and the generous
tip...always appreciated!


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