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New report on Delta shows small businesses creating most jobs

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — Locally-owned Delta small businesses have provided nearly all new net jobs over the past two decades, new private sector economic data released shows. The report is published in conjunction with Small Business Saturday and National Entrepreneurship Month.

The new report, “Jobs and Small Businesses: Job creation and loss in the federally designated Delta region,” completed by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University, found that more than 90 percent of the new net Delta jobs over past 20 years have been created by local small businesses of nine or fewer employees.

In fact, in the difficult years known as the Great Recession, local small businesses created over 58,000 new jobs while nonresident and noncommercial establishments eliminated nearly 368,000.

Other key findings include:

• The DRA region is becoming increasingly one of local, smaller firms. Since 1992, locally-owned establishments with nine or fewer employees have created over 91 percent of the net new jobs.

• The job market in the DRA region is dynamic, with an average of 783,595 jobs being created or destroyed every year. While the economy in the DRA region has created additional jobs throughout the 18-year period, the number of jobs still lags behind levels achieved in 2001.

• The primary dynamics of job creation throughout this period was establishment openings and closings, and existing establishment expansions and contractions. However, since 2001, start-up establishments are creating fewer jobs, the number of establishments closing has increased, and the number of establishments expanding has declined.

• The administrative, support and waste management and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors had the largest rate of change increases, with 61.3 percent and 40.1 percent increases, respectively. The Delta’s manufacturing sector had the largest decrease, losing more than 223,000 jobs or 67.3 percent of the cumulative sector jobs.

The full report is available at www.DRA.gov.

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