Firm dynamics and job creation in the United Kingdom: 1998–2013

Michael Anyadike-Danes, Mark Hart*, Jun Du

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is motivated by a very simple question – ‘what types of firms create the most jobs in the UK economy?’ One popular answer to this question has been High-Growth Firms (HGFs). These firms represent only a small minority – the ‘Vital 6%’ – of the UK business population yet, but have a disproportionate impact on job creation and innovation. We re-visit the discussion launched by the 2009 National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) reports, which identified the 6% figure and, using more recent data, confirm the headline conclusion for job creation: a small number of job-creating firms (mostly small firms) are responsible for a significant amount of net job creation in the United Kingdom. Adopting our alternative preferred analytical approach, which involves tracking the growth performance of cohorts of start-ups confirms this conclusion; however, we find an even smaller number of job-creating firms are responsible for a very significant proportion of job creation. We conclude by considering the question – ‘what are the implications for policy choices?’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-27
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Co-funding: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)


  • growth trajectories
  • high-growth firms
  • job creation
  • United Kingdom


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