(sacbee.com) California's smallest businesses — those without any employees — took a big hit during the state's Great Recession, but appear to have recovered, according to a new Census Bureau report. The number of such businesses — self-employed consultants, technicians, landscapers, remodelers, etc., and small partnerships — dropped and so did their revenues when recession hit, bottoming out in 2009 at 2.7 million firms and $133.8 billion in revenue.

Since then, the Census Bureau data indicate, the number of California's no-employee businesses climbed to 2.9 million in 2012 and their receipts reached $149.4 billion, moving past pre-recession levels. That was an average of $51,517 per business.

Both numbers were the highest of any state and among the nation's counties, Los Angeles had the nation's highest number at 17,241 and the highest revenues at $47.2 billion.

California's gain of 39,051 such businesses from 2011 to 2012 was the second highest of any state, surpassed only by Florida's 57,978.