Alabama Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 131,283 employers, up 1.4% from 129,532
  • 2,005,872 employees, up 1.1% from 1,984,827
  • $985 average weekly wage, up 2.6% from $960
  • The average weekly wage is 16.9% 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 1,751, which is an increase of 1.4%. The number of employees in Alabama increased by 21,045, an increase of 1.1%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $25, an increase of 2.6%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 1,705 or 1.4%. Growth in private businesses in Alabama grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 17,177 or 1.1%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Alabama was slower than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $24 or 2.5%. 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 14.1% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 0.5%. Professional services (11.0%), which increased by 0.3% and Healthcare (9.8%), which increased by 8.8%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Healthcare1,0398.8%
Information1155.1%
Educational services444.0%
Real estate and rental1142.2%
Arts and entertainment282.1%
Accommodation and food services1691.7%
Utilities71.6%
Manufacturing841.5%
Waste services971.4%
Finance and insurance1081.3%
Other services1191.2%
Transport and warehousing401.0%
Construction1001.0%
Agriculture and forestry60.4%
Professional services470.3%
Retail trade-90-0.5%
Wholesale trade-252-2.5%
Company management-51-5.1%
Mining and oil extraction-19-5.3%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 13.4% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.2% in the last year. Retail trade (11.7%), increased by 0.1% and Healthcare (11.0%), increased by 2.1%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry5654.5%
Transport and warehousing2,5854.3%
Construction3,3663.7%
Educational services6223.1%
Real estate and rental7263.1%
Company management4082.6%
Healthcare4,4402.1%
Professional services2,0622.0%
Arts and entertainment2961.5%
Other services4010.9%
Wholesale trade5820.8%
Accommodation and food services9890.5%
Waste services2720.2%
Manufacturing5890.2%
Finance and insurance900.1%
Retail trade2480.1%
Information-108-0.5%
Mining and oil extraction-96-1.5%
Utilities-857-6.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $1,953per week compared with the state average of $968. Weekly wages in this sector declined by $490 or 20.1%. Utilities ($1,856), rose by $95 or 5.4% and Professional services ($1,723) increased by $67 or 4.0% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Arts and entertainment$318.2%
Waste services$325.5%
Accommodation and food services$185.5%
Utilities$955.4%
Professional services$674.0%
Educational services$273.8%
Construction$423.6%
Real estate and rental$343.6%
Healthcare$333.3%
Information$353.0%
Retail trade$162.9%
Agriculture and forestry$222.6%
Finance and insurance$402.6%
Wholesale trade$342.5%
Manufacturing$252.2%
Other services$101.3%
Transport and warehousing$-1-0.1%
Mining and oil extraction$-116-6.9%
Company management$-490-20.1%


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 8,126 employing 157,395 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 166 more businesses, an increase of 2.1% in the last year. Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.4% of businesses) had 197 fewer businesses, a decline of 3.3% and Private households (2.6% of businesses) added 130 businesses, an increase of 4.0% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled1,008351.2%
Trusts estates and agency accounts26173.3%
Urban transit systems5100.0%
Stationery product manufacturing375.0%
Other electrical equipment and component mfg.654.5%
Accessories and other apparel manufacturing240.0%
Mobile food services1934.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled1,008351.2%
Restaurants and other eating places1662.1%
Private households1304.0%
Software publishers10122.3%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers726.0%
Management consulting services683.2%
Insurance agencies and brokerages622.5%


Employees by Industry

Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.4% of employees) had 197 fewer employees, a decline of 3.3% and Private households (2.6% ofemployees) added 130 employees, an increase of 4.0% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other support activities for transportation189275.5%
Port and harbor operations47191.9%
Materials recovery facilities64135.3%
Textile bag and canvas mills33481.4%
Software publishers1,17274.8%
Hunting and trapping872.9%
Transport. goods merchant wholesalers13155.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled1,50419.1%
Software publishers1,17274.8%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences1,15317.0%
Electrical and wiring contractors1,0548.3%
Couriers and express delivery services1,03813.6%
General medical and surgical hospitals1,0362.5%
Animal slaughtering and processing8723.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers, paying $4,643 compared with the state average of $968. Employees in the Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers industry were paid $563 more per week, an increase of 13.8% in the last year. Investment banking and securities dealing ($4,589) and Securities brokerage ($3,280) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Investment banking and securities dealing ($4,589 per week) were paid $810 more per week, an increase of 21.4% and Securities brokerage ($3,280 per week) were paid $86 more per week, an increase of 2.7% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
All other personal services$19350.1%
Seafood product preparation and packaging$24642.7%
Industrial design services$41741.7%
Agents and managers for public figures$70840.5%
Social science and humanities research$75937.1%
Data processing hosting and related services$35032.6%
Outdoor advertising$30631.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Investment banking and securities dealing$81021.4%
Social science and humanities research$75937.1%
Agents and managers for public figures$70840.5%
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$56313.8%
Industrial design services$41741.7%
Natural gas extraction$36323.1%
Data processing hosting and related services$35032.6%


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 91.2%. (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 places8,1262.1%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers5,735-3.3%
Private households3,3504.0%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores3,3331.4%
Offices of physicians3,253-2.1%
Computer systems design and related services2,605-1.7%
Offices of lawyers2,544-1.9%
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,4982.5%
Management consulting services2,2183.2%
Accounting and bookkeeping services2,0241.4%


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 places157,3950.3%
Temporary help services56,798-0.8%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters44,246-0.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals42,2662.5%
Offices of physicians41,3831.2%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores29,8780.5%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing27,274-0.3%
Commercial banking25,765-1.0%
Computer systems design and related services25,6611.7%
Animal slaughtering and processing24,6663.7%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$4,64313.8%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,58921.4%
Securities brokerage$3,2802.7%
Social science and humanities research$2,80537.1%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,790-8.3%
Crude petroleum extraction$2,6331.0%
Agents and managers for public figures$2,45840.5%
Other insurance related activities$2,388-5.7%
Portfolio management$2,3681.5%
Inland water transportation$2,356-10.3%




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.