Firms of five employees or fewer now represent nearly 90 percent of all businesses in California, and from 2000 to 2005 the number of such enterprises grew by nearly 25 percent, according to the state Senate Office of Research. At the same time, the number of jobs provided by these firms increased by 23 percent, to 3.7 million. The number of sole proprietorships – companies owned and operated by a single person – increased by 24 percent to 2.6 million.

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