Top Small Business Statistics of 2024 – Forbes Advisor

5. Small businesses have added over 12.9 million jobs in the last 25 years

Despite the average small business being operated by a solo founder, these enterprises have been a significant source of job creation in the US In the past 25 years, small businesses have been responsible for generating nearly 13 million net new jobs[1]. This accounts for approximately two-thirds of all new jobs added to the economy during this period. This trend emphasizes the enduring role of small businesses in bolstering employment, even as business continues to evolve. As we look toward the future, the continued contribution of small businesses to job creation remains a vital aspect of economic growth and resilience.

6. The leisure and hospitality industry has the highest average of jobs added per month over the last year

In the wake of the pandemic’s impact, the job market has shown remarkable resilience, especially in certain sectors. While the professional and business services industries have been significant contributors to job growth, adding over 1 million new jobs in the last 12 months, it’s the leisure and hospitality industry that stands out for its recovery pace. This sector has demonstrated the highest average monthly job growth, adding an average of 52,000 jobs per month over the last year[2]. This surge in job creation reflects not only a rebound from the severe impacts of the pandemic but also the sector’s critical role in the broader economic recovery. Overall, the labor market has seen an increase of 5.8 million jobs since last year, surpassing its February 2020 level by 240,000 jobs, signaling a strong recovery trajectory.

7. The industry with the most job openings is the professional and business services industry

The professional and business services industry now leads in job openings[2], a shift from the previous trend where education and health services were more in demand. This change signals a strong need for skilled workers in areas such as management, administration and consulting. Job seekers exploring opportunities in this field may find promising prospects for stable employment. For businesses operating in these sectors, the surge in job openings presents challenges in attracting and maintaining a skilled workforce, reflecting the dynamic nature of job markets and the evolving needs of industries.

8. The industry with the highest projected job growth is home health and personal care

While the professional and business services industry currently leads in job openings, the home health and personal care sector is projected to experience the most significant job growth. An estimated increase of 22%, translating to over 804,000 new jobs[2], is expected in the next decade. This surge in demand can be attributed to factors such as an aging population, which requires more in-home healthcare services. The trend towards personalized and patient-centric care models also plays a role, as does the increasing preference for in-home care over institutional settings.

While the professional and business services industry currently has the highest number of job openings, the home health and personal care industry is expected to see the highest growth. Over the next decade, it is estimated to see an increase at the astronomical rate of 22% and add over 804,000 jobs.[2]This shows projected growth within the home health and personal care industries, which is slated to increase in demand given the fact that the aging population is growing disproportionately larger than the younger generations.

9. The leisure and hospitality industry is still recovering from Covid-19

The Leisure and Hospitality industry, which experienced significant job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is on a path to recovery. While the industry faced a shortfall of 633,000 jobs since February 2020[2], recent trends show positive momentum. In 2023, the industry has added an average of 41,000 jobs per month. This is a decrease from the 2022 average of 88,000 jobs per month, yet it represents continued progress. Despite these gains, employment in leisure and hospitality remains 223,000 jobs below its pre-pandemic level as of February 2020. The industry’s recovery, spurred by resumed travel and increased demand for leisure activities, is still unfolding as it works to regain its pre-pandemic strength.

10. Nevada and DC have the highest unemployment rates in the nation

Recent data places Nevada at the forefront in terms of unemployment rates in the United States, with a rate of 5.4%[2]. Following closely is the District of Columbia, recording a 5% unemployment rate[2]. These figures suggest particular economic challenges or labor market conditions unique to these regions. Nevada, known for its tourism-centric economy, particularly in areas such as Las Vegas, may reflect the lingering impacts of the pandemic on the hospitality and entertainment sectors. Similarly, DC’s rate could be influenced by its distinct urban and political dynamics.

Conversely, Maryland showcases the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at just 1.7%[2]. This could be attributed to the state’s diverse economy, which includes sectors such as bioscience, manufacturing and cybersecurity, coupled with its proximity to the federal government’s numerous agencies providing a stable employment base. Maryland’s low unemployment rate indicates strong job market health and potentially effective economic policies at play.

According to the most recent data, Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 5.4%. Right behind it is the District of Columbia at 5%[2]. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Maryland has the lowest unemployment rate at just 1.7%[2].

11. New Jersey had the largest increase in unemployment over the last year

Over the last year, New Jersey has seen the most substantial rise in unemployment rates, with an uptick of 1.3%[2]. This change points to specific economic shifts or challenges within the state. On a different note, Maryland experienced the most significant reduction in unemployment, with a decrease of 1.5%[2]. This could be linked to its varied economic strengths, contributing to a more stable job market.

12. The number of US jobs will increase by 87,000 in 2024

In 2024, the US job market is projected to witness an increase, albeit modest, in the number of jobs. Specifically, employment across the United States is anticipated to grow by 87,000. To put this in perspective, considering the 9.6 million jobs lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic between May 2020 and September 2022[2], this increase represents a small step towards recovery. It’s a noticeable shift from the 2.72 million jobs added in 2023[3]indicating a slower pace of job market recovery in 2024. This suggests that while there is progress in regaining the jobs lost during the pandemic, the journey towards a full recovery is gradual and ongoing.

Over the next year, the number of jobs in the US is expected to increase by 87,000. Granted, this is following huge job losses due to the pandemic. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,[2] 9.6 million jobs were lost in the US due to covid between May 2020 and September 2022. In other words, the projected job growth for 2023 remains just a fraction of what was lost during the pandemic. This indicates that while the nation is in recovery, it still has a long way to go.

13. By 2032, the number of US jobs is projected to increase by 4.7 million

By 2032, the US job market is expected to see an increase in employment, with a projected addition of 4.7 million jobs[2]. This expansion will bring total employment to an estimated 169.1 million. However, this growth, with an annual rate of just 0.03%, marks a significant slowdown compared to the previous decade’s annual growth rate of 1.2% from 2012 to 2022[2]. This slower pace of growth indicates a lengthy recovery period from the job losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the increase in total jobs, by 2032, the US will still be recovering from the pandemic’s impact, as the growth falls short of fully compensating for the 9.6 million jobs lost during that period.

14. The fastest-growing industries are healthcare and social assistance

Not only do the healthcare and social assistance industries have the highest survival rate across all industries, but it also boasts the fastest growing industry.[2]. This growth is driven by increasing demand for health services due to an aging population and a broader recognition of the importance of mental health and social support services. Advances in medical technology and healthcare delivery, including the rise of telehealth and personalized medicine, further fuel this expansion. Additionally, the sector’s resilience to economic fluctuations and its capacity to innovate in response to societal health challenges contribute to its rapid growth. With an ever-growing focus on health and well-being in society, these industries are expected to continue their upward trajectory, meeting essential needs and creating numerous job opportunities.

15. The industry that will add the most jobs is individual and family services

The individual and family services industry has the highest projected growth as it is estimated to add over one million jobs between 2019 and 2029.[2] The industry that is slated to have the second highest job growth in the nation is computer systems and design which is projected to add over 574,000 jobs in the next 10 years.

The individual and family services industry, with its projection to add over 1 million jobs between 2019 and 2029[2], reflects a growing societal emphasis on social welfare and mental health services. This surge in job creation is likely driven by increased public awareness and acceptance of mental health issues, alongside a growing aging population requiring more in-home and community-based services. The expansion of this industry signifies a shift towards prioritizing individual and family well-being in policy and practice.

In parallel, the computer systems and design industry, is projected to add over 574,000 jobs in the next decade[2], mirrors the ongoing digital transformation across all sectors. The increasing reliance on technology in everyday life and business operations has spurred demand for skilled professionals in these areas. This trend highlights the critical role of technology and digital innovation in driving economic growth and job creation in the modern economy.