The COVID-19 crisis and the emergency measures taken to stop its spread have wreaked havoc on entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state: shops closed, capital investments for new startups slowed, markets shifted.
And yet, startups continue to be vital to our state’s economy. In its newest Show Me Jobs report, MOSourceLink reveals that, across the state of Missouri, new and young business with fewer than 20 employees created over 169,479 jobs from 2016 to 2020, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all new jobs in the state.
In addition, the pandemic spurred startups across Missouri: Missouri created 16,287 startup firms in 2020, up from 15,934 in 2019.
Where are those startups located? Through a heat map that measures startup density by geography, Show Me Jobs illustrates that startups, defined as first-time employers with fewer than 20 employees, are launched in every corner of the state, from the rolling hills of the north to the lowlands of the Bootheel.
“With the right resources, startups can start anywhere, and with Show Me Jobs we know where they’re starting now,” says Alexces Bartley, network builder for MOSourceLink. “When you look at startup density geographically, you see what you would expect: Startups cluster around the urban centers of St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia and Joplin.”
The counties of St. Louis, Jackson, St. Louis City, Greene and Saint Charles round out the top 5 counties for startup creation in Missouri, followed by Clay, Boone, Jefferson and Jasper.
The economic impact of startups at the local level was first tracked in 2016 for Kansas City in KCSourceLink’s We Create Jobs report. In 2019, MOSourceLink expanded this statistical analysis to report on the economic contributions of startups across the state of Missouri.
In this recent report, Show Me Jobs quantifies the impact of new and young firms to Missouri’s economy. Using data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) for Missouri, MOSourceLink used a statistical analysis to calculate the number of jobs from first-time employers by looking at employers who paid for unemployment insurance for the first time. MOSourceLink further sorted that number to include only those employers with 20 or fewer employees at the time of first hire.
In addition to jobs created by first-time employers, the report also provides year-to-year comparison data regarding job creation by new and young firms and by the tech sector as well as wage growth, the industrial density of startups and the geographic dispersal of Missouri startups.
Further highlights from the report (available for download at mosourcelink.com/jobs) include:
- First-time employers created an average of 37,270 new jobs in Missouri each year for the past five years.
- New tech firms created an average of 863 jobs each year for the past five years.
- Missouri had 16,287 startup firms in 2020.
- Wages at startup firms exceed the average after Year 4.
- Wages at startup tech firms start at more than double the state’s average wage.
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