California Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 1,595,344 employers, up 3.4% from 1,542,901
  • 17,639,410 employees, up 1.6% from 17,368,212
  • $1,325 average weekly wage, up 4.7% from $1,265
  • The average weekly wage is 21.0% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 51.7% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 52,443, which is an increase of 3.4%. The number of employees in California increased by 271,198, an increase of 1.6%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $60, an increase of 4.7%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 52,218 or 3.5%. Growth in private businesses in California grew faster than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 250,352 or 1.7%. The growth in employees of private businesses in California 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 $60 or 4.8%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in California grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 38.9% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.4%. Professional services (9.8%), which increased by 5.5% and Retail trade (6.7%), which increased by 1.5%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Arts and entertainment2,4799.9%
Information2,3859.2%
Transport and warehousing2,1478.6%
Educational services1,0156.8%
Professional services8,1515.5%
Construction4,4015.5%
Real estate and rental2,9435.4%
Waste services2,2064.2%
Accommodation and food services3,2503.8%
Other services3,6093.8%
Healthcare20,1713.4%
Finance and insurance1,2902.5%
Mining and oil extraction182.3%
Wholesale trade1,4182.2%
Retail trade1,5481.5%
Agriculture and forestry2451.5%
Manufacturing4461.0%
Company management370.8%
Utilities100.8%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 13.5% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 3.0% in the last year. Accommodation and food services (9.7%), increased by 2.0% and Retail trade (9.3%), decreased by 1.6%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing34,0665.9%
Information26,1055.1%
Arts and entertainment15,2164.8%
Professional services48,2003.8%
Mining and oil extraction6553.3%
Construction26,7033.1%
Healthcare68,8373.0%
Real estate and rental8,2282.8%
Educational services8,8762.7%
Accommodation and food services32,6632.0%
Company management4,6931.8%
Other services6,0461.1%
Waste services7,9960.7%
Manufacturing6,0240.5%
Agriculture and forestry1,7770.3%
Utilities-337-0.6%
Wholesale trade-4,279-0.6%
Finance and insurance-6,054-1.1%
Retail trade-27,221-1.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Information paying $3,600per week compared with the state average of $1,316. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $16 or 0.4%. Utilities ($2,591), rose by $244 or 10.4% and Company management ($2,515) increased by $65 or 2.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$24410.4%
Transport and warehousing$1059.9%
Accommodation and food services$347.2%
Mining and oil extraction$1466.3%
Construction$775.9%
Waste services$505.9%
Professional services$1285.7%
Finance and insurance$1185.4%
Manufacturing$804.5%
Retail trade$294.1%
Agriculture and forestry$264.0%
Wholesale trade$563.9%
Healthcare$373.8%
Real estate and rental$443.6%
Other services$222.8%
Company management$652.7%
Educational services$242.3%
Information$160.4%
Arts and entertainment$-7-0.7%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In California. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 31.9% of the businesses in the state (with 509,180 employing 608,995 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 16,598 more businesses, an increase of 3.4% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (4.6% of businesses) added 2,534 businesses, an increase of 3.5% and Offices of physicians (2.1% of businesses) added 595 businesses, an increase of 1.8% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
All other pipeline transportation250.0%
Soybean farming150.0%
Other insurance funds337.5%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.4633.8%
Other financial vehicles8427.4%
Leather and hide tanning and finishing627.3%
Open-end investment funds926.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled16,5983.4%
Management consulting services2,91012.5%
Restaurants and other eating places2,5343.5%
Computer systems design and related services2,4508.8%
Residential building construction1,7497.8%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1,6899.7%
Independent artists writers and performers1,52713.0%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (4.6% of employees) added 2,534 employees, an increase of 3.5% and Offices of physicians (2.1% ofemployees) added 595 employees, an increase of 1.8% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Artificial fibers and filaments manufacturing116104.2%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.63867.5%
Other traveler accommodation2,48666.3%
Timber tract operations960.8%
Motor vehicle electric equipment mfg.69649.1%
Seafood product preparation and packaging38637.5%
Other performing arts companies8535.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled23,6444.0%
Restaurants and other eating places20,6851.5%
Computer systems design and related services18,5605.8%
Software publishers14,82418.4%
Commercial banking14,78914.7%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences10,0837.6%
General warehousing and storage9,0477.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is All other information services, paying $10,356 compared with the state average of $1,316. Employees in the All other information services industry were paid $2,571 more per week, an increase of 33.0% in the last year. Internet publishing and web search portals ($6,513) and Computer and peripheral equipment mfg. ($6,321) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Internet publishing and web search portals ($6,513 per week) were paid $620 less per week, a decline of 8.7% and Computer and peripheral equipment mfg. ($6,321 per week) were paid $149 more per week, an increase of 2.4% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other traveler accommodation$1,915342.0%
Taxi service$3,04899.5%
Communication and energy wire and cable mfg.$1,15969.9%
Used motor vehicle parts merchant wholesalers$43956.1%
Hunting and trapping$27646.7%
Political organizations$42337.9%
Doll toy and game manufacturing$63934.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Taxi service$3,04899.5%
All other information services$2,57133.0%
Other traveler accommodation$1,915342.0%
Communication and energy wire and cable mfg.$1,15969.9%
Other telecommunications$1,07028.8%
Crude petroleum extraction$87617.3%
Doll toy and game manufacturing$63934.5%


Company Size

California Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in California by far. 72.7% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 1,500,070 small businesses in the state represent 96.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) California added 56,297 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 55,638 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.9% 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 602 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 57 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



California Employees by Business Size

California added 819,518 employees in the last year, an increase of 5.8% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 313,642 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 26.4% 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 276,420 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.2% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 229,456 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.8% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

California Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in California (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 17.7% less than the national average ($854 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in California (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 24.5% workers above the national average ($2,534 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $130 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.4% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $304 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 7.2% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $90 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 2.0% 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
Services for the elderly and disabled509,1803.4%
Restaurants and other eating places73,9793.5%
Offices of physicians33,0651.8%
Computer systems design and related services30,3328.8%
Private households29,1293.5%
Management consulting services26,10312.5%
Residential building construction24,1467.8%
Offices of lawyers22,3962.3%
Offices of dentists21,9101.5%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers19,1309.7%


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 places1,364,0301.5%
Services for the elderly and disabled608,9954.0%
General medical and surgical hospitals378,2870.7%
Temporary help services376,847-1.4%
Computer systems design and related services339,8285.8%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores295,2320.2%
Management of companies and enterprises257,7111.8%
Support activities for crop production247,8041.8%
Offices of physicians242,0961.0%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels220,7552.5%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
All other information services$10,35633.0%
Internet publishing and web search portals$6,513-8.7%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$6,3212.4%
Taxi service$6,11199.5%
Crude petroleum extraction$5,94417.3%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$4,99413.6%
Other telecommunications$4,77928.8%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,6985.8%
Miscellaneous intermediation$4,37210.9%
Software publishers$4,170-5.9%




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.