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Net Job and Business Growth

A view of a downtown street above a coniferous shrub. Several Italianate buildings line the far side of the street, which features storefronts for shops, restaurants, and bars.The net job and business growth indicator measures the annual change in both the number of firms and the number of employees between 1978 and 2018. The data is categorized by the size of the firm: those with 1-19 employees, those with between 20 and 499 employees, and those with more than 500 employees.

This data contributes to the big picture of economic conditions in Champaign County. More firms and larger employment numbers are generally positive economic indicators, but any strictly economic indicator should be considered in the context of other factors.

The number of firms and number of employees show very different trends.

Historically, there have been significantly more firms with 1-19 employees than firms in the larger two size categories. The number of firms with 1-19 employees has also been relatively consistent: there were 58 fewer such firms in 2018 than 1978, and the largest year-to-year change in the 40-year period of analysis was a -3.2% decrease between 1979 and 1980.

The larger two size categories have shown an increasing trend over the period of analysis. There were 124 more firms with 20-499 employees in 2018 than 1978, a total increase of 26%. The number of firms with more than 500 employees more than doubled, increasing by 230 firms from 212 in 1977 to 442 in 2018, a total increase of 108.5%.

The trends of employment also vary based on firm size. Firms with 1-19 employees have consistently, and unsurprisingly, accounted for less of the total employment than the larger two categories. Employment in firms with 1-19 employees has also remained relatively consistent over the period of analysis. Employment in firms with more than 500 employees saw an overall trend of growth, interrupted by brief and intermittent decreases, between 1978 and 2018. Employment in the middle category (firms with between 20 and 499 employees) was also greater in 2018 than in 1978.

This data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics Data Tables. This data is at the geographic scale of the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which is a larger area than the cities or Champaign County.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau; 2018 Business Dynamics Statistics Data Tables; “BDSFSIZE – Business Dynamics Statistics: Firm Size: 1978-2018”; retrieved 10 June 2021.