Michigan Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 266,415 employers, up 6.4% from 250,363
  • 4,385,014 employees, up 0.0% from 4,383,476
  • $1,115 average weekly wage, up 3.4% from $1,078
  • The average weekly wage is 5.9% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 11.1% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 16,052, which is an increase of 6.4%. The number of employees in Michigan increased by 1,538, an increase of 0.0%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $37, an increase of 3.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 15,967 or 6.6%. Growth in private businesses in Michigan grew faster than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses decreased since last years' Q1, declining by 2,578 or 0.0%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Michigan 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 $39 or 3.6%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Michigan 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 13.1% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 7.5%. Other services (12.4%), which increased by 4.8% and Professional services (11.2%), which increased by 6.9%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information1,11317.3%
Transport and warehousing79711.9%
Company management14310.8%
Educational services3019.6%
Agriculture and forestry2177.5%
Retail trade2,4197.5%
Real estate and rental5657.5%
Professional services1,9176.9%
Construction1,3416.7%
Arts and entertainment2376.6%
Mining and oil extraction266.5%
Manufacturing1,0326.3%
Accommodation and food services1,1366.1%
Utilities214.9%
Other services1,5224.8%
Waste services5063.7%
Healthcare5092.4%
Finance and insurance2051.8%
Wholesale trade700.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 14.1% of the employees in the state, had a decrease in employees of -2.6% in the last year. Healthcare (13.7%), increased by 0.7% and Retail trade (10.8%), decreased by 1.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing8,0836.0%
Finance and insurance6,5784.4%
Construction4,7752.8%
Real estate and rental1,3302.4%
Company management1,5432.2%
Utilities4192.1%
Agriculture and forestry4721.7%
Healthcare4,2270.7%
Professional services6790.2%
Accommodation and food services5620.1%
Educational services390.1%
Arts and entertainment-68-0.1%
Other services-484-0.3%
Wholesale trade-1,317-0.8%
Retail trade-5,615-1.2%
Information-662-1.2%
Mining and oil extraction-146-2.6%
Manufacturing-16,464-2.6%
Waste services-8,541-2.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,312per week compared with the state average of $1,116. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $27 or 1.2%. Utilities ($2,240), declined by $145 or 6.1% and Professional services ($1,877) increased by $56 or 3.1% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$976.8%
Manufacturing$745.6%
Finance and insurance$785.1%
Real estate and rental$505.1%
Other services$284.2%
Retail trade$264.2%
Agriculture and forestry$273.9%
Construction$523.9%
Waste services$253.4%
Professional services$563.1%
Accommodation and food services$92.4%
Transport and warehousing$252.3%
Arts and entertainment$172.2%
Healthcare$232.2%
Wholesale trade$241.6%
Educational services$111.5%
Company management$271.2%
Mining and oil extraction$-12-0.7%
Utilities$-145-6.1%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Michigan. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 5.4% of the businesses in the state (with 14,465 employing 290,852 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 819 more businesses, an increase of 6.0% in the last year. Private households (5.1% of businesses) added 741 businesses, an increase of 5.8% and Residential building construction (2.3% of businesses) added 517 businesses, an increase of 9.2% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Tobacco manufacturing17170.0%
Record production and distribution964.3%
Trusts estates and agency accounts2750.9%
Electric lamp bulb and part manufacturing250.0%
Distilleries1747.2%
Clothing accessories stores8547.0%
Timber tract operations743.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places8196.0%
All other professional and technical services79319.4%
Private households7415.8%
All other specialty trade contractors52132.9%
Residential building construction5179.2%
All other miscellaneous store retailers50121.2%
All other information services42421.8%


Employees by Industry

Private households (5.1% of employees) added 741 employees, an increase of 5.8% and Residential building construction (2.3% ofemployees) added 517 employees, an increase of 9.2% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Tobacco manufacturing52308.9%
Natural gas extraction11097.1%
Railroad rolling stock manufacturing2186.4%
Food crops grown under cover35182.3%
Other nonferrous metal production869.4%
Other specialized design services28559.6%
Roofing and siding merchant wholesalers55558.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General warehousing and storage4,80723.6%
Direct life and health insurance carriers2,97221.9%
Other nondepository credit intermediation2,19030.2%
Continuing care assisted living facilities1,7765.0%
Management of companies and enterprises1,5432.2%
All other miscellaneous manufacturing1,31612.1%
Couriers and express delivery services1,1797.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Motion picture and video distribution, paying $7,519 compared with the state average of $1,116. Employees in the Motion picture and video distribution industry were paid $6,043 more per week, an increase of 409.4% in the last year. Other insurance funds ($6,359) and Spectator sports ($6,312) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Other insurance funds ($6,359 per week) were paid $685 more per week, an increase of 12.1% and Spectator sports ($6,312 per week) were paid $176 less per week, a decline of 2.7% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$6,043409.4%
Sound recording studios$2,124211.3%
Wood container and pallet manufacturing$1,134121.3%
Tobacco manufacturing$46299.4%
Securities and commodity exchanges$1,11093.0%
Dry pea and bean farming$38959.6%
Footwear merchant wholesalers$80556.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$6,043409.4%
Sound recording studios$2,124211.3%
Wood container and pallet manufacturing$1,134121.3%
Securities and commodity exchanges$1,11093.0%
Footwear merchant wholesalers$80556.8%
Other insurance funds$68512.1%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing$65241.8%


Company Size

Michigan Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Michigan by far. 60.0% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 229,695 small businesses in the state represent 94.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 91.2%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Michigan added 4,551 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,519 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.0% 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 50 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.4% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses declined 18 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Michigan Employees by Business Size

Michigan added 104,109 employees in the last year, an increase of 2.9% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 56,920 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 32.9% 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 44,143 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 3,046 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 0.4% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Michigan Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Michigan workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Michigan (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 3.8% less than the national average ($968 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Michigan (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 25.5% workers below the national average ($1,524 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $71 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.1% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses lost $19 in wages per week in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.6% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $-27 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
Restaurants and other eating places14,4656.0%
Private households13,5885.8%
Residential building construction6,1539.2%
Computer systems design and related services5,0048.0%
All other professional and technical services4,87419.4%
Offices of physicians4,6711.0%
Offices of lawyers4,1210.6%
Insurance agencies and brokerages3,9431.0%
Accounting and bookkeeping services3,6692.3%
Offices of dentists3,635-1.7%


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 places290,8520.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals201,922-0.1%
Temporary help services110,783-5.3%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters78,962-0.6%
Offices of physicians73,9280.6%
Management of companies and enterprises70,7482.2%
Engineering services56,4630.4%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores53,604-2.7%
Computer systems design and related services49,081-2.0%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing42,6610.5%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$7,519409.4%
Other insurance funds$6,35912.1%
Spectator sports$6,312-2.7%
Casinos except casino hotels$5,7410.0%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,8535.5%
Securities brokerage$3,2875.3%
Sound recording studios$3,129211.3%
Musical groups and artists$3,1276.2%
Portfolio management$3,1260.1%
Other financial vehicles$2,963-9.3%




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.