Employment impact of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes

Am J Public Health. 2014 Apr;104(4):672-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301630. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


Objectives: We assessed the impact of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes on net employment.

Methods: We used a macroeconomic simulation model to assess the employment impact of a 20% SSB tax accounting for changes in SSB demand, substitution to non-SSBs, income effects, and government expenditures of tax revenues for Illinois and California in 2012.

Results: We found increased employment of 4406 jobs in Illinois and 6654 jobs in California, representing a respective 0.06% and 0.03% change in employment. Declines in employment within the beverage industry occurred but were offset by new employment in nonbeverage industry and government sectors.

Conclusions: SSB taxes do not have a negative impact on state-level employment, and industry claims of regional job losses are overstated and may mislead lawmakers and constituents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • California / epidemiology
  • Carbonated Beverages / economics*
  • Employment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Food Industry / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Illinois / epidemiology
  • Models, Economic
  • Taxes*
  • Workforce