Businesses with fewer than 50 employees lead IL job creation: Small Biz Saturday

November 20, 2018

Small businesses accounted for 83 percent of new jobs in Illinois last year

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2018) – Ahead of this weekend’s Small Business Saturday, a new analysis reveals how vital small businesses are to Illinois’ economy.

The Illinois Policy Institute found businesses with fewer than 50 employees created 83 percent of new jobs in Illinois during 2017.

Not only do small businesses create the vast majority of jobs in the state, but Illinois also relies on these “mom and pop” shops more than most of its neighbors.

Findings from the analysis include: 

  • From 2011 to 2017, small businesses generated nearly 130,000 new jobs in Illinois, or 62 percent of all jobs created over that period. They have been the primary drivers of Illinois’ recovery from the Great Recession.
  • Across the U.S., small businesses account for 51 percent of all new jobs created from 2011 to 2017.
  • Among Illinois’ neighboring states, only Iowa was more reliant on small businesses for overall jobs growth from 2011 to 2017.
  • In 2017, large businesses with more than 250 employees actually shed more than 1,000 jobs in Illinois. These are the companies that receive tax incentives from state and local government to do business.

Illinois Policy Institute experts are available to weigh in on the big role small businesses play in Illinois and how lawmakers can better support them moving forward.

“Although small businesses are the backbone of job creation, they’re also most affected by poor policy decisions. Enduring a 32-percent income tax hike in 2017 and the second-highest property taxes in the nation, state lawmakers should work to alleviate these tax burdens rather than add to them,” Orphe Divounguy, chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, said. “Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker’s progressive income tax proposal would devastate small business employment, as entrepreneurs will almost certainly find themselves in the crosshairs of a tax hike. The governor-elect should instead consider necessary pension and spending reforms to balance next year’s budget.”

To read the full analysis, visit: