Nine of every 10 people who launched business ventures in metropolitan areas in 2016 did so because they believed they saw a market opportunity, according to research by the Kauffman Foundation.
According to the research, 86.25 percent of new businesses in 2016 were started by people who left other employment to make the leap into entrepreneurship. Kauffman has been tracking this indicator since 1996, and the 2016 level was the highest since 2000.
This indicator rises and falls with the economy. In 2009, when the United States was starting to climb out of the Great Recession, just 74 percent of business startups were by people leaving current employment. The other 26 percent were people launching businesses because employment opportunities were so few and far between.
Another sign of the strengthening economy? The survival rate for startups has been rising. The most recent figures Kauffman has are from 2014, showing that 48.73 percent of businesses started in 2009 had made it through five years. That indicator hit its second-lowest level in 2011, when 42.91 percent of the businesses started in 2006 had survived five years.