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Small businesses contributed 55 percent of the total net job creation from 2013 to 2023

May 01, 2024

Small businesses—firms with 249 or fewer employees—accounted for 99 percent of the 5.6 million firms covered under Unemployment Insurance in the first quarter of 2023. Small Business Week, April 28–May 4, celebrates these businesses contributions to the economy. Over the last ten years, those small businesses have employed an average of 46 percent of the covered workforce. However, over the same period, small businesses contributed 55 percent of the net total number of jobs created.

Net employment change by firm size, 2013 to 2023, seasonally adjusted
Month Small firms Large firms Total, all firms

Mar 2013

368,000 214,000 582,000

Jun 2013

361,000 289,000 650,000

Sep 2013

294,000 179,000 473,000

Dec 2013

227,000 404,000 631,000

Mar 2014

380,000 62,000 442,000

Jun 2014

516,000 377,000 893,000

Sep 2014

314,000 246,000 560,000

Dec 2014

362,000 589,000 951,000

Mar 2015

243,000 -17,000 226,000

Jun 2015

510,000 336,000 846,000

Sep 2015

227,000 229,000 456,000

Dec 2015

317,000 513,000 830,000

Mar 2016

250,000 4,000 254,000

Jun 2016

188,000 143,000 331,000

Sep 2016

294,000 458,000 752,000

Dec 2016

108,000 137,000 245,000

Mar 2017

537,000 125,000 662,000

Jun 2017

296,000 274,000 570,000

Sep 2017

-144,000 54,000 -90,000

Dec 2017

377,000 427,000 804,000

Mar 2018

461,000 268,000 729,000

Jun 2018

296,000 219,000 515,000

Sep 2018

-117,000 141,000 24,000

Dec 2018

336,000 327,000 663,000

Mar 2019

415,000 157,000 572,000

Jun 2019

164,000 105,000 269,000

Sep 2019

-42,000 32,000 -10,000

Dec 2019

298,000 349,000 647,000

Mar 2020

-467,000 -186,000 -653,000

Jun 2020

-7,501,000 -7,592,000 -15,093,000

Sep 2020

2,047,000 1,973,000 4,020,000

Dec 2020

854,000 998,000 1,852,000

Mar 2021

1,197,000 643,000 1,840,000

Jun 2021

944,000 72,000 1,016,000

Sep 2021

643,000 775,000 1,418,000

Dec 2021

1,381,000 1,353,000 2,734,000

Mar 2022

586,000 1,085,000 1,671,000

Jun 2022

318,000 11,000 329,000

Sep 2022

319,000 1,050,000 1,369,000

Dec 2022

363,000 97,000 460,000

Mar 2023

592,000 512,000 1,104,000

Jun 2023

133,000 150,000 283,000

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first two quarters of 2020, small businesses suffered greater net job losses than large establishments. Small businesses lost 8.0 million jobs during this period, while 7.8 million jobs were lost in larger firms.

Later in 2020, firms with 250 or more employees had a net job gain of 3.0 million, slightly more 2.9 million jobs added by small businesses. Since the first quarter of 2021, small businesses have accounted for 53 percent of 12.2 million total net job creation across all firm sizes.

These data are from the Business Employment Dynamics program. Quarterly data are seasonally adjusted. For more data like these, see National Business Employment Dynamics Data by Firm Size Class.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Small businesses contributed 55 percent of the total net job creation from 2013 to 2023 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2024/small-businesses-contributed-55-percent-of-the-total-net-job-creation-from-2013-to-2023.htm (visited June 22, 2024).

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