Deseret Morning News:

Some are in their early 50s and just got laid off . . . again. Some are baby boomers who worked for the same companies for years and want to try being their own bosses. Some are simply tired of the rat race and want to regain work/life balance. But all of these workers and more are finding the same solution to their career problems: franchising.

According to a 2004 study by the International Franchise Association and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than 760,000 franchised businesses directly employed about 9.8 million Americans. The study said franchises, which include everything from restaurants and real estate agencies to auto repair shops and hotels, provided $506 billion in payroll and stimulated an overall economic output of $1.53 trillion, or nearly 10 percent of the private-sector economy.