Startups Created More Than Two Million Jobs in 2015

In 2015, the nation’s 414,000 startup firms created 2.5 million new jobs, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS). This level of startup activity is well below the pre-recession average of 524,000 startup firms and 3.3 million new jobs per year for the period 2002–2006.

Net jobs creation by state

Other BDS highlights include:

  • Job creation in the U.S totaled 16.8 million and job destruction totaled 13.7 million, for a net job creation of 3.1 million in 2015.
  • Young firms (those less than six years old) accounted for 11% of employment and 27% of job creation.
  • Old firms (those more than 25 years old) comprised 62% of employment and 48% of job creation.
  • The job creation rate for young firms, excluding startups, was 20% in 2015. This rate is above the Great Recession low of 15% in 2009, and it has recovered to its average level of 20% during the period 2002–2006.
  • The net job creation rate for establishments* in metro areas was 2.7%. For establishments in nonmetro areas, the rate was lower at 1.2%.
  • States with the highest net job creation rates in 2015 — 3.4% and above — are in the South Atlantic, Pacific and Mountain divisions.

The Business Dynamics Statistics are based on Business Register data, which covers all employers in the U.S. private nonfarm economy. This year’s release is limited to 13 tables; this temporary reduction in the number of tables will allow the completion of work to modernize the methodology that generates the Business Dynamics Statistics. The next release, planned for 2018, will provide an expanded set of tables that incorporate long-planned enhancements, including switching from the Standard Industrial Classification system to the North American Industry Classification System.

*A firm is a business organization consisting of one or more establishments under common ownership or control. An establishment is a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. The firm and establishment are the same for single-establishment firms. Startup firms are new firms of age zero. See the BDS concepts and methodology page for definitions of job creation and net job creation rate.