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After taking a nosedive at the start of the pandemic recession (gold shaded area), business applications rose sharply, peaking in July 2020. Applications have fallen somewhat since then but are still up approximately 84% from their April 2020 low. Businesses that are likely to hire employees — called high-propensity businesses — make up approximately one-third of total applications. Businesses with payroll are considered more likely to power job growth and economic recovery.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2021 (data for the period January 2017 to November 2021)