New Jersey's economy has been recovering at a slower rate than the nation as a whole, but according to a new profile from the feds, small business has been a big contributor to the progress New Jersey is making.

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An annual analysis from the Office of Advocacy within the U.S. Small Business Administration, using the latest census data, indicated New Jersey is home to more than 803,000 small businesses, employing approximately 1.69 million workers.

"They make up 98.3 percent of all employers in the state," said Teri Coaxum, a regional advocate for the Office of Advocacy.

The overwhelming majority of New Jersey small businesses, though, is sole proprietorships. Their annual income increased 7.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and totaled $43.2 billion.

According to the profile, the top industries for small business employment have been: health care & social assistance; professional, scientific & technical services; and accommodation & food services.

"Representing 50 percent of the state's private workforce, no one can doubt the significant role small businesses play in our economic landscape," said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for the Office of Advocacy.