U.S. firms in the real estate and rental and leasing sector dropped by 9.3 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
There were 348,565 establishments in the sector in 2012.
Only national data have been released so far for the 2012 Economic Census.
At the same time, average revenue per establishment grew 11.5 percent to $1.4 million and payroll per employee increased 14.9 percent to $44,499, according to the Census.
Receipts grew about 1.2 percent to $490.6 billion in 2012.
Data for the construction sector was not available.
Retail trade led all sectors with nearly 1.1 million businesses in 2012, while utilities had the least at 17,804.
But utilities was No. 1 for the highest average revenue per establishment at more than $29 million, according to the Census.
Health care and social assistance continued to have the most employees with 18.6 million in 2012, an increase of more than 10 percent from 2007.
Wholesale trade businesses reported more than $7 trillion in receipts in 2012, which was up about 10 percent from 2007.
The accommodation and food services sector reported the lowest payroll per employee at $16,374, according to the Census.