Background The objectives of this study are to explore factors that are associated with use of adjuvant chemotherapy and to evaluate its impact on overall survival in node-negative patients who undergo lung and chest wall resection for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods Patients who underwent concomitant lung and chest wall resection for NSCLC were abstracted from the National Cancer Database. Clinical, pathologic, treatment, and follow-up data were obtained. Patients with pathologic nodal metastases or patients who received any radiation treatment were excluded, and the cohort was dichotomized based on administration of adjuvant postoperative chemotherapy. Results Between 1998 and 2010, 824 patients met the inclusion criteria. This cohort exclusively consisted of pT3 N0 patients who did not receive any induction treatment or adjuvant radiation treatment. Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered to 255 patients (31%). Patients in the chemotherapy group were younger and had shorter inpatient length of stay. Both groups had similar comorbidities, tumor size, unplanned readmission rate, and incomplete resection rate. In multivariable analysis, younger age and shorter length of stay were associated with a greater likelihood of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with improved survival (hazard ratio 0.74, 95% CI: 0.6 to 0.9), whereas increasing age, white race, length of inpatient stay, tumor size, and residual tumor were independently associated with greater risk of death. Conclusions Patients who undergo lobectomy with chest wall resection for locally advanced NSCLC should be strongly considered for postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy even in the absence of nodal disease. Actual selection of patients for adjuvant chemotherapy is affected by perioperative factors.