Idaho’s Small Businesses Make Big Impact on Economy

More than half the private businesses in Idaho have fewer than 50 employees and 20 percent have fewer than 10.

Between 2012 and 2013, 119 private businesses with fewer than 10 employees were established in Idaho – more than any other business size. Those smallest businesses created 1,800 jobs. There were 109 new business with 20 to 49 employees established in the same year, adding 3,600 workers to their payrolls – 23 percent of the state’s total employment growth in 2013. Businesses with 500 to 999 workers expanded by 39, adding more than 3,400 jobs – an impressive 14.8 percent jump in a year’s time.

Pie chart - Number of workers






2013 change in number table


Among all six Idaho regions, businesses with fewer than 20 employees experienced the greatest number of new hires during the first three quarters of 2013, the most recent data available. According to the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators, 45 percent of the new hires occurred in southwestern Idaho followed by south central and eastern Idaho at 14 percent.

Employment by Private table

Share of New Hires chart

New Hires by Private

Hirting rates by region charty

Several other economic indicators on a national level point to how well businesses are performing, particularly small businesses.

The October Federal Reserve Beige Book reported retailers were relatively optimistic about the rest of 2014. Tourism activity remained upbeat in several areas with some reports of higher occupancy rates and solid advance bookings for travel and lodging.

According to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers based on data from Thomson Reuters, venture capital investments are up 56 percent from $21.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2013 to $33.2 billion in the first three quarters of 2014.

As economic conditions improved in many markets, capital expenditures rose along with real personal consumption expenditures and goods producing industries—all signs of a stronger business climate.

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regional tables, regional economist
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