Massachusetts Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 262,925 employers, up 2.2% from 257,159
  • 3,644,776 employees, up 1.0% from 3,606,913
  • $1,377 average weekly wage, up 4.3% from $1,320
  • The average weekly wage is 25.8% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 31.6% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 5,766, which is an increase of 2.2%. The number of employees in Massachusetts increased by 37,863, an increase of 1.0%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $57, an increase of 4.3%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 5,689 or 2.3%. Growth in private businesses in Massachusetts grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 33,652 or 1.1%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Massachusetts was slower 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 $58 or 4.4%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Massachusetts 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 24.6% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.5%. Professional services (12.9%), which increased by 2.6% and Retail trade (8.9%), which increased by 0.3%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Mining and oil extraction1011.6%
Information4157.8%
Utilities247.6%
Real estate and rental3344.7%
Transport and warehousing1934.6%
Healthcare2,1663.5%
Construction6783.2%
Company management443.0%
Finance and insurance2722.7%
Professional services8752.6%
Educational services942.4%
Agriculture and forestry202.2%
Waste services2191.7%
Other services2691.2%
Arts and entertainment401.1%
Accommodation and food services660.4%
Retail trade770.3%
Manufacturing170.3%
Wholesale trade-125-0.9%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.5% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.9% in the last year. Retail trade (9.6%), decreased by 1.0% and Professional services (9.4%), increased by 4.9%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry7408.4%
Professional services16,0214.9%
Transport and warehousing1,9592.2%
Construction3,1882.0%
Healthcare11,9401.9%
Real estate and rental9201.9%
Utilities1881.6%
Arts and entertainment8371.3%
Information1,0211.1%
Company management7671.1%
Accommodation and food services1,4540.5%
Educational services3320.2%
Waste services470.0%
Finance and insurance-250.0%
Manufacturing-366-0.1%
Other services-464-0.4%
Wholesale trade-1,138-0.9%
Retail trade-3,719-1.0%
Mining and oil extraction-50-4.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Professional services paying $2,565per week compared with the state average of $1,374. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $114 or 4.7%. Company management ($2,551), rose by $159 or 6.6% and Utilities ($2,522) increased by $109 or 4.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Mining and oil extraction$1027.8%
Retail trade$487.3%
Arts and entertainment$517.1%
Accommodation and food services$336.9%
Company management$1596.6%
Waste services$586.3%
Other services$415.7%
Information$1124.9%
Agriculture and forestry$524.8%
Transport and warehousing$454.7%
Professional services$1144.7%
Utilities$1094.5%
Finance and insurance$1024.3%
Wholesale trade$744.2%
Construction$523.6%
Healthcare$262.5%
Educational services$322.4%
Real estate and rental$302.2%
Manufacturing$-3-0.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Massachusetts. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 17.9% of the businesses in the state (with 46,990 employing 73,331 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 1,957 more businesses, an increase of 4.3% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.2% of businesses) added 58 businesses, an increase of 0.4% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% of businesses) added 180 businesses, an increase of 2.2% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Food crops grown under cover15125.0%
Pension funds480.0%
Health and welfare funds250.0%
Iron steel pipe and tube from purchase steel233.3%
Oil and gas pipeline construction731.8%
Other support activities for transportation1727.4%
Music publishers225.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled1,9574.3%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences27113.0%
Software publishers19615.3%
Computer systems design and related services1802.2%
Management consulting services1643.5%
Residential building construction1633.4%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1578.0%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.2% of employees) added 58 employees, an increase of 0.4% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% ofemployees) added 180 employees, an increase of 2.2% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Food crops grown under cover1,112682.5%
Pension funds456.9%
Paint and coating manufacturing27548.4%
Motion picture and video production85743.2%
Beef cattle ranching farming and feedlots440.4%
Animal food manufacturing2539.8%
Promoters without facilities13234.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences9,46114.6%
Services for the elderly and disabled6,4709.7%
General medical and surgical hospitals3,5332.2%
Management consulting services3,3728.9%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses2,31622.3%
Software publishers2,0856.5%
Office administrative services1,63829.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Trusts estates and agency accounts, paying $60,692 compared with the state average of $1,374. Employees in the Trusts estates and agency accounts industry were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% in the last year. Spectator sports ($5,452) and Open-end investment funds ($5,421) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Spectator sports ($5,452 per week) were paid $424 more per week, an increase of 8.4% and Open-end investment funds ($5,421 per week) were paid $360 more per week, an increase of 7.1% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Footwear merchant wholesalers$1,31357.8%
Inland water transportation$28156.3%
Political organizations$45151.2%
Postproduction and other related industries$52140.8%
Marine cargo handling$23436.2%
All other financial investment activities$88734.3%
Motion picture and video production$38733.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Footwear merchant wholesalers$1,31357.8%
All other financial investment activities$88734.3%
Postproduction and other related industries$52140.8%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$50617.2%
Ophthalmic goods merchant wholesalers$45328.4%
Political organizations$45151.2%
Spectator sports$4248.4%


Company Size

Massachusetts Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Massachusetts by far. 66.6% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 244,752 small businesses in the state represent 95.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Massachusetts added 7,631 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 7,562 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% 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 61 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.6% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 8 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Massachusetts Employees by Business Size

Massachusetts added 113,856 employees in the last year, an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 30,269 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 14.1% 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 27,776 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 2.4% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 55,811 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.8% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Massachusetts Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Massachusetts (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 10.1% more than the national average ($1,118 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Massachusetts (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 13.9% workers above the national average ($2,221 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $178 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $286 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 5.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $-42 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of -0.9% 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 disabled46,9904.3%
Restaurants and other eating places13,7690.4%
Computer systems design and related services8,4172.2%
Private households5,758-1.2%
Residential building construction4,9123.4%
Management consulting services4,8223.5%
Offices of lawyers4,469-0.6%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4,118-7.1%
Landscaping services3,9702.0%
Hair nail and skin care services3,5302.9%


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 places249,248-1.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals168,1822.2%
Colleges and universities94,361-0.7%
Computer systems design and related services84,4581.7%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores77,053-1.7%
Management of companies and enterprises74,5731.1%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences74,23514.6%
Services for the elderly and disabled73,3319.7%
Offices of physicians57,8811.3%
Temporary help services53,396-3.2%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$60,6920.0%
Spectator sports$5,4528.4%
Open-end investment funds$5,4217.1%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,887-1.0%
Miscellaneous intermediation$4,6251.5%
Securities brokerage$4,5228.8%
Portfolio management$4,132-4.4%
Footwear merchant wholesalers$3,58357.8%
All other financial investment activities$3,47234.3%
Reinsurance carriers$3,4605.6%




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.