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.