Montana Employment Statistics

  • 50,110 employers
  • 464,917 employees
  • $835 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 24.2% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 4.0% above the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in Montana, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 95.6% of employers run private companies in the state, 1.4% less than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 4.4% of employers are government agencies: 1.6% work in a federal agency, 0.8% work for the state and 2.0% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
82.1% of employees work for a private company. This is 3.1% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 10.2% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 4.9% of the workers and the federal government employs 2.8%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (17.9%) is 3.1% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Montana is $835 per week, which is 24.2% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. Montana workers that are employed by private businesses earn $814 per week, 26.0% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Montana earn $1,366 per week, a premium of 67.8% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Construction with 13.0% of the businesses in the state. Professional services (12.1%) and Retail trade (9.3%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Construction6,51413.0%
Professional services6,06512.1%
Retail trade4,6749.3%
Other services4,2828.5%
Healthcare4,0048.0%
Accommodation and food services3,6487.3%
Waste services3,0656.1%
Wholesale trade2,7705.5%
Finance and insurance2,2054.4%
Real estate and rental2,0924.2%
Manufacturing1,6343.3%
Transport and warehousing1,5843.2%
Arts and entertainment1,4232.8%
Agriculture and forestry1,2372.5%
Information8011.6%
Educational services6331.3%
Mining and oil extraction5341.1%
Unclassified2810.6%
Company management2300.5%
Utilities2200.4%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.7% of the employees in the state. Retail trade (12.7%) and Accommodation and food services (11.6%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare68,53114.7%
Retail trade59,03012.7%
Accommodation and food services53,96411.6%
Construction29,0796.3%
Professional services22,5524.9%
Manufacturing20,5604.4%
Other services18,2443.9%
Waste services17,8553.8%
Wholesale trade17,1723.7%
Finance and insurance15,2543.3%
Transport and warehousing12,3472.7%
Arts and entertainment12,0992.6%
Mining and oil extraction6,6611.4%
Information6,3561.4%
Real estate and rental5,9921.3%
Agriculture and forestry5,8441.3%
Educational services5,0001.1%
Utilities2,8220.6%
Company management2,0720.4%
Unclassified3300.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Mining and oil extraction paying $1,749per week compared with the state average of $814. Utilities ($1,689) and Company management ($1,508) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Mining and oil extraction$1,749214.9%
Utilities$1,689207.5%
Company management$1,508185.3%
Unclassified$1,422174.7%
Finance and insurance$1,304160.2%
Professional services$1,216149.4%
Wholesale trade$1,137139.7%
Information$1,047128.6%
Construction$1,019125.2%
Manufacturing$965118.6%
Healthcare$939115.4%
Transport and warehousing$852104.7%
Agriculture and forestry$76794.2%
Real estate and rental$72088.5%
Waste services$68083.5%
Other services$58471.7%
Educational services$57871.0%
Retail trade$57670.8%
Arts and entertainment$42151.7%
Accommodation and food services$35743.9%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Montana. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 4.3% of the businesses in the state (with 2,133 employing 35,127 workers). Residential building construction (3.7%) and Computer systems design and related services (2.3%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places2,13316.5
Residential building construction1,8692.4
Computer systems design and related services1,1364.2
Management consulting services9501.7
Accounting and bookkeeping services8313.3
Offices of real estate agents and brokers8151.4
Private households7951.2
Offices of lawyers7753.4
Insurance agencies and brokerages7723.6
Plumbing and hvac contractors7005.7


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 7.6% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 35,127 in 2,133 businesses, there are 16.5 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (5.1%) and Hotels and motels except casino hotels (2.5%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places35,12716.5
General medical and surgical hospitals23,896373.4
Hotels and motels except casino hotels11,81420.0
Supermarkets and other grocery stores9,83539.7
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters7,70769.4
Offices of physicians6,64612.3
Gasoline stations with convenience stores5,41812.4
Commercial banking5,04914.8
Computer systems design and related services4,7804.2
Drinking places alcoholic beverages4,6028.3


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Industrial paper merchant wholesalers, paying $4,723 compared with the state average of $814. Investment banking and securities dealing ($4,462) and Securities brokerage ($3,016) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Industrial paper merchant wholesalers$4,723580.2
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,462548.2
Securities brokerage$3,016370.5
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$2,781341.6
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$2,599319.3
Petroleum refineries$2,537311.7
Natural gas extraction$2,330286.2
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,303282.9
Miscellaneous intermediation$2,283280.5
Portfolio management$2,184268.3


Company Size

Montana Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Montana by far. 65.6% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 45,251 small businesses in the state represent 97.6% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.6%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.

Montana Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 0.0% of all employees, which is 138.4% lower than the national average of 138.4%. Interestingly, the smallest companies in the state employ a higher percentage than the largest companies, this is not typical. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 94.2% of all workers, which is 2.7% higher than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 508.5% of the labor force in the state, 41.5% less than the national average of 550.0%.

Montana Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Montana workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Montana (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 19.0% less than the national average ($819 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Montana (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 0.0% workers below the national average ($0 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



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.