Econ Quiz: Small Business Job Creation

(Image Source: Tim Mossholder / Unsplash)

May 2024

As we prepare for Wisconsin’s first Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities on May 30 and 31 in Platteville, we are thinking a lot about the contributions that small firms make to employment.

Over the past ten years, from 2013 through 2023, businesses with fewer than 249 employees accounted for roughly 46% of the workforce and created about 55% of all new jobs in the U.S. Aside from the quarters ending September 2017, September 2018, September 2019, March 2020, and June 2020, in which small firms experienced an overall loss in jobs, job creation for small firms ranged between 108,000 and 2,047,000 jobs each quarter. Large firms experienced overall losses in jobs for the quarters ending in March 2015, March 2020, and June 2020. In quarters other than those, job creation for large firms has ranged between 4,000 and 1,973,00 jobs each quarter.

That brings us to today’s question. In total, small firms and large firms have created a combined average of 400,463 jobs per quarter from 2013 through 2023. On average, how many of those jobs were created by small firms each quarter during that time period?

A. 180,524

B. 100,001

C. 220,119

D. 301,074

E. 390,213


Answer: C. On average, small firms have created 220,119 jobs per quarter since January 2103. During the same time period, large firms have created an average of 180,524 jobs each quarter.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1 May 2024). The Economics Daily: Small businesses contributed 55 percent of the total net job creation from 2013 to 2023.

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