50 staggering statistics from the business world
From the food we put on the table to the careers we pursue, business affects nearly every component of our daily lives. Businesses are behind our entertainment and favorite sports teams, home furnishings and means of travel, and everything in between. But while they can create products to help us heal and stay connected to those we love most, businesses can also put consumers at risk because of faulty products, pollution, or inadequate employee benefits.
Over the past century, we’ve seen many businesses expand to levels that once seemed unimaginable. Walmart grew in a matter of decades from an Arkansas retailer to employing more people than any other company in the world, and a Toyota became the best-selling car of all time. Amazon was founded in 1995 as an online bookseller, and today its founder is the world’s wealthiest man.
The world communicates quickly and widely because businesses create faster and more extensive systems to keep us connected. Hundreds of billions of emails are sent every day, and over 4 billion people use the internet. All that communication and technology can threaten to consume us. Employees check their work emails from the breakfast table and even from bed—and most email users never can clear out their inboxes.
Businesses can treat workers and the public badly. Profitable companies pay top executives far more than they pay average workers, put employees at risk with intolerable working conditions, and cause workers stress and unhappiness with uncertainty and declining pay. They help trigger a financial collapse, spoil the environment, or simply pay women less than men. But they can create millions of new jobs each year or exist to chase an ideal rather than a profit.
And they are capable of jaw-dropping extravagance, producing cars that cost more than an ocean-faring yacht, selling a half-minute of television ad time for more than the value of most people’s homes, and building towering indoor ski resorts.
Stacker looked at international and domestic businesses, communications, entertainment, e-commerce, salaries, labor unions, industry studies, and government reports to find the most staggering and most intriguing business statistics of the year. Keep reading to learn about the world’s biggest polluter, the worst job in the United States, and what percentage of people have no retirement savings.
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Software developer pegged best job
Ranked based on pay, stress levels, future prospects, and work-life balance, being a software developer is currently the best job to have, according to a survey by U.S. News & World Report. In second place came statistician, followed by physician’s assistant and dentist.
Apple is the world’s biggest company
Apple is the biggest company in the world, with a market value of $961 billion. In second place is Microsoft, with a market value of $946 billion, and in third place is Amazon, at $916 billion.
Nearly all U.S. businesses are small
Almost 31 million small businesses, generally defined as those with fewer than 500 employees, operate in the United States. They comprise 99.9% of all U.S. businesses and employ almost 60 million people—over 47% of the nation’s workers.
Small businesses create the most jobs
In the United States, small businesses created 9.6 million net new jobs from 2000 to 2018—nearly two-thirds of the nation’s net new job creation. During the same period, large businesses created 5.2 million jobs.
Most small businesses have no employees
More than four out of five small businesses in the United States—about 25 million—have no employees. Known as nonemployers, these include such positions as independent contractors and real estate agents.
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Employees look at email for 209 minutes a day
On the whole, employees checked on their work emails an average of 209 minutes a day, down from 256 minutes in 2016, a recent survey found. A quarter of people said they checked their work emails while they were still at home, getting ready for work, or having breakfast, and found 13% checked their work emails while still in bed.
2019’s holiday shopping season is the shortest season possible
The holiday shopping season for 2019, defined as starting on the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, and ending on Christmas Day, is the shortest season possible at 26 days. This is six days shorter than the shopping season of 2018. The shorter season may mean retailers offer discounts and sales prices earlier in the season so deliveries arrive on time.
CEOs make over 100 times more money than their workers
A study of S&P 500 companies found four out of five firms paid their chief executives over 100 times the median paid to their workers. At one in 10 of those companies, the median pay for workers was below the federal poverty level—$27,005, according to the U.S. government—while the median chief executive pay was $12.3 million.
Fewer than half of email users achieve 'Inbox Zero'
A study by the Adobe software company found that 46% of email users reach what is called ‘Inbox Zero,’ when every email has been acted upon—answered, deleted, or delegated. Millennials were most likely to clear their inboxes, and baby boomers least likely.
Only half of all small businesses survive five years
In the United States, about half of small businesses survive at least five years. Of those that launched in 2017, four out of five lasted to the following year, according to the most recent government statistics.
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