Report: Illinois Small Businesses Lead the Way in Job Recovery

Written by Andrew Hensel, The Center Square
Nov. 30, 2022

Small mom-and-pop shops in Illinois are leading the way when looking at post-pandemic recovery, according to a new report.

The Illinois Policy Institute report showed small businesses in Illinois have gained 309,000 jobs in the aftermath of COVID-19.

"Businesses with under 20 employees have been the only firms that have grown jobs since 2020," IPI's Justin Carlson said. "Businesses with over 20 employees have lost jobs since the onset of the pandemic."

Carlson told The Center Square that one of the main factors in the growth of these small businesses was their ability to retain their workforce.

"Small businesses have been the least likely to lay off employees during the pandemic," Carlson said. "This is a great thing; the fewer layoffs, the better you will be when the economy takes a downturn, so the smaller businesses were the most resilient."

Many large companies including Caterpillar have already decided to leave the state due to several factors, including high taxes on businesses.

"We have seen stories about big employers leaving the state, so that is hurting their chance to grow jobs here in Illinois, and that's hurting the employment situation for them," Carlson said.

Employers with fewer than 20 employees saw their payrolls shrink by 3% at the onset of COVID-19. Meanwhile, larger employers laid off more than 9% of their workforce.

The businesses with under 20 employees have been the only ones in the state that have seen job growth since the pandemic, as over 50,000 jobs have come back post COVID-19.

We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.

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