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Jenna Weisbord, 310-995-0839
Franchise Sector Expected to Outpace U.S. Economy-Wide Job Creation in 2018, According to New IFA Economic Outlook Survey
Tax reform and regulatory relief lead to optimism and confidence among franchise businesses
Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2018) – On the heels of historic tax reform and after a year of pro-business policies, the franchise sector is strong and expected to grow faster than the rest of the U.S. economy, according to the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) 2018 Franchise Business Outlook, unveiled today at the Washington Post’s State of the Union Preview. The report signals continued steady growth among franchise businesses throughout 2018.
“Over the last year, Congress and the Administration have set their sights on removing the barriers and brakes holding our economy back and stifling job creation,” said IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti. “Regulations have been trimmed, taxes have been cut, and, as a result, the franchise community has continued its economic momentum. As we move into 2018, we expect lawmakers will remain steadfast in their support for a strong business environment. Franchises will thrive and continue to strengthen the American economy by providing jobs in every community, playing an important role in the lives of Americans, and supporting a variety of job creating industries, from manufacturing to agriculture.”
The Franchise Business Outlook for 2018, prepared for the IFA Franchise Education and Research Foundation by IHS Economics, projects the franchise sector’s 2018 economic contributions. Key findings include:  
  • Franchise establishments are expected to grow an additional 1.9 percent in 2018 to 759,000.
  • Franchise employment is projected to grow 3.7 percent, continuing to outpace the rest of the economy.
  • The gross domestic product (GDP) of the franchise sector is forecast to exceed U.S. GPD growth and increase by 6.1 percent to $451 billion. The franchise sector will contribute approximately 3 percent of U.S. GDP in nominal dollars. 
  • Franchise business output is expected to increase by 6.2 percent to $757 billion.
  • Franchise Personal Services experienced strong growth over the past year and is expected to rank first in growth of the number of establishments and in employment in 2018. 
“Franchise-owned businesses are a critical component of America’s economy, especially in rural states like Wyoming. Tax relief, combined with regulatory reform, is creating economic and growth opportunities in the business community that have not existed for quite some time,” said Senator Barrasso (R-WY). “Americans are able to keep more of their hard-earned money. Business confidence is high and companies are investing not only in their operations, but in their employees. Look no further than the 200-plus companies that have publicly announced they’re giving raises, bonuses and investing more in their workers. I’m confident that, thanks to the tax cuts, America’s economic outlook will only continue to improve.”
After Congress and the Administration passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in late 2017, franchise optimism skyrocketed. But despite this enthusiasm, there is still work to be done as threats to the industry could jeopardize this robust expansion. 
“Congress and the Administration have taken monumental steps toward creating a pro-business America – and business owners are responding,” said Wyoming based Taco John’s CEO Jim Creel. “The tax bill, coupled with fewer regulations, is freeing up resources for more jobs, higher wages, and more business investments. Hopefully, policymakers in Washington will maintain their economic focus and prioritize a permanent fix to the vague joint employer definition – the Save Local Business Act.”
To view the full report, please click here
About the International Franchise Association
Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.