A chart from Jeff Desjardins shows the largest employer in each state. The results: Wal-mart is the largest in 22 states. A health care network is the largest in 12 states. A university system is the largest in 11 states. That leaves 5 states with “other,” only one of which is a manufacturing firm (Boeing in the state of Washington).
I think that this reflects a Great Consolidation in retail and in health care. Mom-and-pop stores and small medical practices have been wiped out. That means you want to be really careful about interpreting statistics that seem to say that Americans aren’t starting new businesses the way that they used to. The opportunities are not what they used to be.