Americans started fewer businesses last year. That's good news for the economy.

More importantly, it appears the decline has been driven by an improving labor market, which is pressuring fewer out-of-work individuals to start their own ventures out of sheer necessity.

Dane Stangler, Kauffman’s head of research and policy, pointed to statistics showing that only about 22 percent of those who started a company last year were previously unemployed and in search of work. That, too, is more in line with what researchers were seeing at the turn of the century.

During the three years immediately following the recession, conversely, that number had jumped up to and was holding steady at around 26 percent. During that period, the overall rate of entrepreneurship among U.S. adults had spiked to about 0.33 percent.

Now that the labor market has started to rebound, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 6.7 percent, more entrepreneurs appear to be taking the leap because they want to, not because they have to, Stangler explained.