A dynamic and healthy economy will always be undergoing a process of churn: new companies and new jobs starting, but also existing companies and jobs ending. Thus, it's been troubling to see articles about "The Decline in US Entrepreneurship" (August 4, 2014), a lower rate of business startups, and a decline in how much new firms are offering in terms of job gains.
The Kauffman Foundation does regular surveys of US entrepreneurship. Robert Fairlie, Sameeksha Desai, and A.J. Herrmann wrote up the 2017 National Report on Early Stage Entrepreneuship (February 2019). The report offers some reasons for modest encouragement, but in the end seems overly optimistic to me.
On the positive side, the survey uses data from the nationally representative Current Population Survey conducted by the Census Bureau to calculate the "rate of new entrepreneurs." Specifically: "The rate of new entrepreneurs captures the percentage of the adult, non-business owner population that starts a business each month. This indicator captures all new business owners, including those who own incorporated or unincorporated businesses, and those who are employers or non-employers."
As the report notes: "The rate of new entrepreneurs in 2017 was 0.33 percent, which reflects that 330 out of every 100,000 adults became new entrepreneurs in an average month."
The Census data also lets the authors break down this data in various ways: for example, the rate of new entrepreneurs is about twice as high for immigrants:
Timothy Taylor is an American economist. He is managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, a quarterly academic journal produced at Macalester College and published by the American Economic Association. Taylor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College and a master's degree in economics from Stanford University. At Stanford, he was winner of the award for excellent teaching in a large class (more than 30 students) given by the Associated Students of Stanford University. At Minnesota, he was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Department of Economics and voted Teacher of the Year by the master's degree students at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Taylor has been a guest speaker for groups of teachers of high school economics, visiting diplomats from eastern Europe, talk-radio shows, and community groups. From 1989 to 1997, Professor Taylor wrote an economics opinion column for the San Jose Mercury-News. He has published multiple lectures on economics through The Teaching Company. With Rudolph Penner and Isabel Sawhill, he is co-author of Updating America's Social Contract (2000), whose first chapter provided an early radical centrist perspective, "An Agenda for the Radical Middle". Taylor is also the author of The Instant Economist: Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works, published by the Penguin Group in 2012. The fourth edition of Taylor's Principles of Economics textbook was published by Textbook Media in 2017.