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  • The current size of the PEO industry is between $136 and $156 billion, as measured in gross revenues.

  • PEOs provide services to between 156,000 and 180,000 small and mid-sized businesses, employing between 2.7 and 3.4 million ​people.

  • There are between 780 and 980 PEOs currently operating in the United States. They employ between 21,000 and 27,000 people internally.

  • The PEO industry has grown significantly. In each of the last 30 years, the industry has added, on average, roughly 100,000 worksite employees and 6,000 net new clients. For perspective, that means that every five years, the PEO industry has added the employment equivalent of the entire utilities industry in the United States.

  • The estimated 2.7 to 3.4 million employees who benefit from PEO services is a number larger than the size of the entire agriculture/forestry industry in the United States (and close to the size of the federal government, the education sector, or the information sector), based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


This economic analysis examined a variety of data sources, including NAPEO membership data; BLS data; NAPEO’s 2014 Financial Ratio and Operating Statistics Survey; 2014 Hoovers/Dun & Bradstreet data on all companies classified as PEOs by Hoovers; and detailed administrative data from five selected states.