Massachusetts Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 262,144 employers, up 0.7% from 260,277
  • 3,662,359 employees, up 1.0% from 3,627,540
  • $1,511 average weekly wage, up 3.8% from $1,456
  • The average weekly wage is 27.5% 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 1,867, which is an increase of 0.7%. The number of employees in Massachusetts increased by 34,819, an increase of 1.0%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $55, an increase of 3.8%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 1,932 or 0.8%. Growth in private businesses in Massachusetts grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 34,596 or 1.1%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Massachusetts 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 $57 or 3.9%. 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 24.3% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 0.5%. Professional services (13.0%), which increased by 1.3% and Retail trade (8.8%), which decreased by 1.3%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information3396.2%
Other services9224.2%
Mining and oil extraction33.3%
Educational services1303.3%
Real estate and rental1672.3%
Agriculture and forestry212.3%
Arts and entertainment792.1%
Transport and warehousing801.9%
Construction2721.3%
Professional services4451.3%
Waste services1641.3%
Finance and insurance1021.0%
Utilities10.3%
Company management40.3%
Manufacturing210.3%
Accommodation and food services90.1%
Healthcare-324-0.5%
Retail trade-302-1.3%
Wholesale trade-201-1.4%


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 1.4% in the last year. Retail trade (9.8%), decreased by 0.5% and Professional services (9.6%), increased by 5.1%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Utilities1,10510.7%
Agriculture and forestry9009.8%
Professional services17,0915.1%
Transport and warehousing3,2003.5%
Mining and oil extraction303.0%
Real estate and rental1,2942.7%
Construction3,1221.9%
Other services2,0581.7%
Healthcare8,8401.4%
Accommodation and food services3,8461.2%
Information4320.5%
Arts and entertainment1550.3%
Educational services-163-0.1%
Finance and insurance-205-0.1%
Wholesale trade-512-0.4%
Retail trade-1,978-0.5%
Waste services-1,292-0.7%
Company management-615-0.8%
Manufacturing-2,711-1.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Finance and insurance paying $3,340per week compared with the state average of $1,530. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $90 or 2.8%. Professional services ($2,888), rose by $167 or 6.1% and Company management ($2,539) increased by $63 or 2.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Mining and oil extraction$21914.7%
Accommodation and food services$356.9%
Professional services$1676.1%
Retail trade$324.5%
Educational services$554.2%
Other services$324.1%
Waste services$383.8%
Healthcare$353.1%
Real estate and rental$462.8%
Finance and insurance$902.8%
Transport and warehousing$292.8%
Wholesale trade$532.7%
Company management$632.5%
Construction$372.2%
Manufacturing$332.0%
Arts and entertainment$151.6%
Information$120.5%
Agriculture and forestry$50.5%
Utilities$-153-6.2%


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 17.5% of the businesses in the state (with 45,963 employing 74,050 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 429 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.9% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.2% of businesses) had 13 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.1% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% of businesses) added 114 businesses, an increase of 1.4% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Food crops grown under cover22183.3%
Trusts estates and agency accounts1647.1%
Iron steel pipe and tube from purchase steel233.3%
Printing and writing paper merch. whls.529.4%
Toilet preparation manufacturing228.6%
Pension funds228.6%
Other sound recording industries225.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Private households70912.1%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences2029.2%
Software publishers19414.3%
Computer systems design and related services1141.4%
Landscaping services1032.7%
Data processing hosting and related services10216.2%
Management consulting services831.7%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.2% of employees) had 13 fewer employees, a decline of 0.1% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% ofemployees) added 114 employees, an increase of 1.4% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Food crops grown under cover1,426916.3%
Other sound recording industries1283.8%
Political organizations18565.5%
Other performing arts companies15661.9%
Pension funds660.0%
Natural gas distribution1,13856.4%
Inland water transportation4053.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences9,83514.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals4,7442.8%
Services for the elderly and disabled4,0615.8%
Management consulting services3,4488.5%
Software publishers3,0049.3%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses2,36419.3%
Computer systems design and related services2,1692.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Trusts estates and agency accounts, paying $33,614 compared with the state average of $1,530. Employees in the Trusts estates and agency accounts industry were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% in the last year. Portfolio management ($8,400) and Spectator sports ($8,095) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Portfolio management ($8,400 per week) were paid $165 more per week, an increase of 2.0% and Spectator sports ($8,095 per week) were paid $452 more per week, an increase of 5.9% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Music publishers$1,01570.5%
Independent artists writers and performers$2,83770.2%
Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy mfg.$60242.6%
Promoters without facilities$42839.3%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$74932.9%
Port and harbor operations$49931.4%
Rolling and drawing of purchased steel$46230.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Independent artists writers and performers$2,83770.2%
Miscellaneous intermediation$1,11817.2%
Music publishers$1,01570.5%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$74932.9%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$67818.6%
Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy mfg.$60242.6%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$51422.8%


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 91.2%. (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 disabled45,963-0.9%
Restaurants and other eating places13,691-0.1%
Computer systems design and related services8,5041.4%
Private households6,54512.1%
Residential building construction4,8981.4%
Management consulting services4,8391.7%
Offices of lawyers4,408-1.8%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers3,975-7.9%
Landscaping services3,9662.7%
Hair nail and skin care services3,5181.1%


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 places240,9210.0%
General medical and surgical hospitals170,8342.8%
Colleges and universities98,477-1.3%
Computer systems design and related services86,6662.6%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences77,72114.5%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores77,5460.3%
Services for the elderly and disabled74,0505.8%
Management of companies and enterprises73,998-0.8%
Offices of physicians58,0340.8%
Temporary help services56,548-2.5%


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$33,6140.0%
Portfolio management$8,4002.0%
Spectator sports$8,0955.9%
Miscellaneous intermediation$7,60417.2%
Securities brokerage$7,3032.9%
Independent artists writers and performers$6,88070.2%
Other financial vehicles$6,5900.0%
Investment banking and securities dealing$6,057-2.7%
Securities and commodity exchanges$5,05410.3%
Open-end investment funds$4,4160.0%




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.