Montana Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 49,474 employers, down 0.2% from 49,597
  • 475,129 employees, up 1.2% from 469,672
  • $843 average weekly wage, up 3.3% from $816
  • The average weekly wage is 23.0% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 6.9% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state declined by 123, which is a decrease of 0.2%. The number of employees in Montana increased by 5,457, an increase of 1.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $27, an increase of 3.3%.

The number of private employers decreased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses declined by 125 or 0.3%. Growth in private businesses in Montana grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 4,962 or 1.3%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Montana 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 $27 or 3.5%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Montana 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 Construction with 12.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 1.6%. Professional services (12.2%), which increased by 1.4% and Retail trade (9.2%), which decreased by 2.0%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Healthcare1874.7%
Utilities62.7%
Real estate and rental391.9%
Agriculture and forestry191.6%
Professional services821.4%
Information10.1%
Manufacturing-5-0.3%
Waste services-10-0.3%
Educational services-4-0.6%
Transport and warehousing-10-0.6%
Wholesale trade-16-0.6%
Finance and insurance-18-0.8%
Arts and entertainment-13-0.9%
Accommodation and food services-54-1.5%
Construction-105-1.6%
Mining and oil extraction-10-1.9%
Retail trade-93-2.0%
Company management-7-3.0%
Other services-147-3.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.6% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.5% in the last year. Retail trade (12.3%), decreased by 1.2% and Accommodation and food services (11.6%), increased by 1.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry3606.0%
Finance and insurance8405.5%
Arts and entertainment3803.2%
Transport and warehousing3653.0%
Manufacturing5632.8%
Construction7072.3%
Professional services4201.8%
Real estate and rental1011.7%
Healthcare1,0161.5%
Mining and oil extraction821.2%
Accommodation and food services6551.2%
Other services1761.0%
Waste services1520.8%
Company management50.2%
Utilities10.0%
Wholesale trade-16-0.1%
Educational services-10-0.2%
Retail trade-732-1.2%
Information-134-2.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Mining and oil extraction paying $1,695per week compared with the state average of $808. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $19 or 1.1%. Utilities ($1,545), declined by $1 or 0.1% and Company management ($1,395) increased by $30 or 2.2% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Professional services$726.3%
Wholesale trade$565.2%
Other services$284.9%
Retail trade$274.8%
Transport and warehousing$384.6%
Information$414.1%
Accommodation and food services$144.0%
Waste services$264.0%
Real estate and rental$263.9%
Healthcare$323.5%
Manufacturing$293.1%
Educational services$172.9%
Arts and entertainment$102.4%
Company management$302.2%
Finance and insurance$161.3%
Mining and oil extraction$191.1%
Agriculture and forestry$50.7%
Utilities$-1-0.1%
Construction$-12-1.2%


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 2,106 employing 35,909 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 25 fewer businesses, a decline of 1.2% in the last year. Residential building construction (3.7% of businesses) had 1 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.1% and Computer systems design and related services (2.4% of businesses) added 54 businesses, an increase of 4.9% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts5500.0%
Reinsurance carriers2100.0%
Casinos except casino hotels3100.0%
Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers2100.0%
Services for the elderly and disabled14368.1%
Media buying agencies266.7%
Agents and managers for public figures250.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled14368.1%
Computer systems design and related services544.9%
Management consulting services525.7%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers496.1%
Accounting and bookkeeping services232.8%
Landscaping services203.3%
Social advocacy organizations205.9%


Employees by Industry

Residential building construction (3.7% of employees) had 1 fewer employees, a decline of 0.1% and Computer systems design and related services (2.4% ofemployees) added 54 employees, an increase of 4.9% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Libraries and archives20145.2%
Food crops grown under cover14582.3%
Media buying agencies266.7%
Tour operators1959.1%
Oil and gas pipeline construction35157.6%
Agents and managers for public figures255.0%
Accessories and other apparel manufacturing250.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Commercial banking66713.1%
Home health care services38514.2%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels3583.1%
Oil and gas pipeline construction35157.6%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing2976.5%
Restaurants and other eating places2950.8%
All other amusement and recreation industries28715.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers, paying $4,547 compared with the state average of $808. Employees in the Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers industry were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% in the last year. Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,239) and Commodity contracts dealing ($2,816) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,239 per week) were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% and Commodity contracts dealing ($2,816 per week) were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Tour operators$632169.4%
Spectator sports$55765.3%
Office equipment merchant wholesalers$44653.9%
Book publishers$38849.7%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.$74043.8%
Public relations agencies$35542.8%
Other support activities for transportation$28642.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.$74043.8%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$64434.7%
Tour operators$632169.4%
Spectator sports$55765.3%
Other electronic parts merchant wholesalers$47624.9%
Office equipment merchant wholesalers$44653.9%
Book publishers$38849.7%


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 45,362 small businesses in the state represent 97.6% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Montana added 134 businesses in the last year, an increase of 0.3% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 126 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.3% 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 7 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 1 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 7.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Montana Employees by Business Size

Montana added 13,446 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 9,345 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 25.9% 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 4,101 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 3.7% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 0 employees in the last year, which is an increase of nan% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

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 17.3% less than the national average ($857 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 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 $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $106 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $97 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.5% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $0 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of nan% 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 places2,106-1.2%
Residential building construction1,841-0.1%
Computer systems design and related services1,1634.9%
Management consulting services9715.7%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers8496.1%
Accounting and bookkeeping services8452.8%
Insurance agencies and brokerages747-2.2%
Offices of lawyers730-5.1%
Plumbing and hvac contractors6990.4%
Private households676-14.9%


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 places35,9090.8%
General medical and surgical hospitals24,0411.0%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels12,2263.1%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores10,1382.4%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters7,378-2.3%
Offices of physicians6,8573.1%
Commercial banking5,74213.1%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores5,265-3.2%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing4,8756.5%
Residential building construction4,7075.0%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers$4,5470.0%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,2390.0%
Commodity contracts dealing$2,8160.0%
Securities brokerage$2,549-0.7%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$2,50234.7%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.$2,42843.8%
Other electronic parts merchant wholesalers$2,38724.9%
Petroleum refineries$2,365-0.5%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,31610.2%
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$2,281-0.7%




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.