Hillary is Wrong: Businesses Do Create Jobs, and These Charts Prove it

October 29, 2014 / Reading: 3 minutes

At a Democratic rally in Massachusetts last Friday, Hillary Clinton attempted to defended raising the minimum wage by attacking “trickle-down economics,” resulting in a particularly unusual comment reminiscent of President Obama’s “you didn’t build that”. The former Secretary of State and potential 2016 Presidential candidate implied that businesses and corporations are not the job creators of America.

Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs

Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Boston

Taken out of context, a comment such as this coming from someone who is probably running for the presidency of the world’s largest economy might lead many to think that only the government is responsible for job creation. This is simply not true, as most jobs are created by the private sector. In fact, as the chart below perfectly illustrates, the vast majority (close to 9 in 10) of Americans work in the private sector.

employement - private vs public

And while one might argue that the government is responsibly for creating an environment that spurs demand for goods and services, which in turn results in job creation. It is important to keep in mind that businesses’ spending as well as marketing play a major role in generating consumer demand.

So with that in mind, let’s review the following figures for 2011:

  • Businesses employed over 113 million Americans.
  • Generated more than $5 trillion in payroll.

Now let’s focus on Small Businesses (firms with less than 500 employees):

  • 55 millions American work at a small business.
  • Small Business generate $3 trillion in annual payroll.
  • Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.
  • Since 1990, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.

Taking the figures above into consideration, it is difficult to argue against the importance of Small businesses to our job market. Smaller firms provide job opportunities for many different types of workers. They are also major contributors to U.S. workers’ paychecks, paying approximately $3 trillion in employee wages in 2011.

The map charts below demonstrate the importance of small business to the economy of your state. You can find more details on our Small Business Statistics & Trends page

Number of people employed at small businesses

2011 annual payroll at small businesses