Alabama Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 129,579 employers, up 2.5% from 126,379
  • 1,990,784 employees, up 1.4% from 1,964,149
  • $911 average weekly wage, up 3.4% from $881
  • The average weekly wage is 16.8% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 10.7% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 3,200, which is an increase of 2.5%. The number of employees in Alabama increased by 26,636, an increase of 1.4%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $30, an increase of 3.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 3,209 or 2.7%. Growth in private businesses in Alabama grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 24,299 or 1.5%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Alabama was faster than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $29 or 3.4%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Alabama grew slower than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Retail trade with 14.3% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 0.4%. Professional services (11.0%), which increased by 2.6% and Healthcare (9.1%), which increased by 1.6%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information1909.0%
Other services8168.1%
Educational services636.1%
Arts and entertainment715.6%
Utilities204.9%
Real estate and rental2034.1%
Transport and warehousing1453.9%
Waste services2593.8%
Manufacturing1633.0%
Construction2542.6%
Professional services3622.6%
Accommodation and food services2212.3%
Finance and insurance1451.7%
Healthcare1831.6%
Agriculture and forestry191.3%
Retail trade740.4%
Wholesale trade360.4%
Mining and oil extraction10.3%
Company management-16-1.6%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 13.5% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.8% in the last year. Retail trade (11.5%), decreased by 0.3% and Healthcare (10.9%), increased by 1.4%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Construction4,8335.4%
Transport and warehousing2,3584.1%
Other services1,4583.2%
Company management4683.0%
Professional services2,8272.7%
Waste services3,1202.5%
Mining and oil extraction1502.4%
Information4552.1%
Accommodation and food services3,7552.0%
Agriculture and forestry2141.8%
Healthcare3,0121.4%
Real estate and rental2981.3%
Manufacturing2,0800.8%
Wholesale trade4400.6%
Arts and entertainment440.3%
Finance and insurance1050.2%
Retail trade-671-0.3%
Educational services-279-1.4%
Utilities-368-2.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $1,834per week compared with the state average of $893. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $55 or 3.1%. Utilities ($1,832), rose by $194 or 11.8% and Mining and oil extraction ($1,535) declined by $13 or 0.8% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$19411.8%
Real estate and rental$566.8%
Waste services$336.0%
Arts and entertainment$216.0%
Educational services$395.6%
Construction$555.5%
Wholesale trade$504.1%
Accommodation and food services$123.8%
Agriculture and forestry$303.7%
Manufacturing$383.6%
Transport and warehousing$303.3%
Information$343.1%
Company management$553.1%
Retail trade$163.0%
Finance and insurance$402.9%
Healthcare$222.5%
Professional services$151.0%
Other services$30.4%
Mining and oil extraction$-13-0.8%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Alabama. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.2% of the businesses in the state (with 8,037 employing 162,578 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 189 more businesses, an increase of 2.4% in the last year. Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.4% of businesses) added 43 businesses, an increase of 0.8% and Private households (3.0% of businesses) added 687 businesses, an increase of 21.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts16133.3%
Urban transit systems5100.0%
All other food manufacturing964.3%
Other support activities for transportation555.6%
Other electrical equipment and component mfg.550.0%
Soybean farming250.0%
Carpet and rug mills337.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Private households68721.5%
Restaurants and other eating places1892.4%
Software publishers10727.9%
Temporary help services946.0%
Management consulting services854.2%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers827.3%
Insurance agencies and brokerages813.4%


Employees by Industry

Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.4% of employees) added 43 employees, an increase of 0.8% and Private households (3.0% ofemployees) added 687 employees, an increase of 21.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other support activities for transportation87322.8%
Port and harbor operations47180.4%
Power boiler and heat exchanger manufacturing221142.0%
Materials recovery facilities46110.5%
Software publishers1,21987.3%
Document preparation services16983.8%
Oil and gas pipeline construction56365.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places2,5521.6%
Temporary help services1,3582.5%
Software publishers1,21987.3%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing1,0668.8%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences99815.6%
Electrical and wiring contractors7596.1%
Commercial building construction7559.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Portfolio management, paying $3,808 compared with the state average of $893. Employees in the Portfolio management industry were paid $1,803 more per week, an increase of 89.9% in the last year. Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,345) and Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers ($2,960) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,345 per week) were paid $161 less per week, a decline of 4.6% and Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers ($2,960 per week) were paid $170 less per week, a decline of 5.4% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Portfolio management$1,80389.9%
Footwear merchant wholesalers$41582.3%
Industrial design services$38049.5%
Construction machinery manufacturing$52145.9%
Other basic organic chemical manufacturing$70837.4%
Amusement arcades$5435.8%
Spectator sports$16135.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Portfolio management$1,80389.9%
Other basic organic chemical manufacturing$70837.4%
Construction machinery manufacturing$52145.9%
Footwear merchant wholesalers$41582.3%
Credit bureaus$39921.0%
Industrial design services$38049.5%
Home furnishing merchant wholesalers$30922.2%


Company Size

Alabama Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Alabama by far. 56.7% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 117,510 small businesses in the state represent 95.5% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Alabama added 3,717 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 3,572 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 136 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.6% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 9 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 4.6% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Alabama Employees by Business Size

Alabama added 91,154 employees in the last year, an increase of 6.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 29,526 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 33.6% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 35,867 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 6.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 25,761 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 14.5% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Alabama Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Alabama workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Alabama (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 7.0% less than the national average ($939 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Alabama (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 36.8% workers below the national average ($1,398 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $100 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $90 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $22 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 0.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places8,0372.4%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers5,6950.8%
Private households3,88021.5%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores3,3051.7%
Offices of physicians3,250-0.7%
Computer systems design and related services2,5892.2%
Offices of lawyers2,528-0.6%
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,4553.4%
Management consulting services2,1144.2%
Accounting and bookkeeping services1,9782.0%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places162,5781.6%
Temporary help services55,3772.5%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters43,6270.6%
General medical and surgical hospitals41,5711.5%
Offices of physicians40,8771.8%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores29,302-0.5%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing27,4341.0%
Commercial banking25,856-1.8%
Computer systems design and related services25,2720.7%
Animal slaughtering and processing23,5591.4%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Portfolio management$3,80889.9%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,345-4.6%
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$2,960-5.4%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,9357.6%
Securities brokerage$2,874-10.1%
Other basic organic chemical manufacturing$2,60337.4%
Crude petroleum extraction$2,3233.3%
Credit bureaus$2,29921.0%
Petroleum refineries$2,17515.9%
Electric power generation$2,0079.4%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.