Employment Dynamics at VC-Backed Companies in the United States: 1990 to 2020
New research from NVCA, Venture Forward, and the University of North Carolina Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise estimates and geographically maps employment at VC-backed companies headquartered in the United States at the state and congressional district levels, and analyzes the employment dynamics at VC-backed companies from 1990 to 2020.
Using company-level data for over 67,000 VC-backed companies that received venture financing dating back to 1970, we map the location of approximately 3.8 million jobs at VC-backed companies in 2020. Explore the interactive map for detailed employment figures by individual congressional district or state.
- Employment at VC-backed companies grows at roughly 8x the pace of employment at non-VC-backed companies.
- Employment growth at VC-backed companies is resilient with strong positive growth rates observed regardless of where the economy is in the business cycle.
- Even after the 2007-2008 financial crisis and during the Great Recession, annual job growth at VC-backed firms exceeded 4.0%. Total private sector employment, by comparison, shrank by 4.3% in 2009, contributing to a decrease of 7.4 million private sector jobs.
- VC-backed jobs are distributed broadly across the entire U.S. with 62.5% of VC-backed jobs outside the states of California, Massachusetts, and New York.
- In contrast, 73% of VC investment was deployed to startups in those three states in 2020.
VC-backed Jobs in the U.S. by State or Congressional District (2020)
A project of NVCA, Venture Forward, and the University of North Carolina Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise & Research.
Authors: Gregory W. Brown, Michael J. Chow, David Fisher, Lu Yi
Acknowledgements: The authors thank PitchBook and Professor Jay Ritter of the University of Florida for assistance in identifying VC-backed companies for this project