North Carolina Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 25,697 more businesses
  • 586,550 more employees
  • 15.3% increase in total wages
  • $10,924 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 27.4% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in North Carolina has grown by 10.2% (1.2% less than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in North Carolina has grown by 15.3% (1.7% greater than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 27.4% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 1.7% greater than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in North Carolina of $976 is 12.8% below the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 14.4% a widening of 1.6% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Professional services sector has the most businesses in the state of North Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 26,618 to 38,235, a gain of 43.6%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Professional services38,23526,61843.6%
Retail trade34,09232,7084.2%
Construction26,70028,075-4.9%
Healthcare23,67620,70314.4%
Other services23,38917,85331.0%
Accommodation and food services21,69318,23519.0%
Wholesale trade19,95918,8326.0%
Waste services18,77314,42230.2%
Finance and insurance14,99613,27712.9%
Real estate and rental12,75410,45122.0%
Manufacturing10,21210,408-1.9%
Transport and warehousing6,9075,41327.6%
Information5,2333,74039.9%
Arts and entertainment4,1573,26527.3%
Educational services3,5082,32051.2%
Agriculture and forestry3,1112,8967.4%
Company management1,7891,47321.5%
Utilities51935845.0%
Mining and oil extraction215234-8.1%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Professional services sector, which has increased by 43.6% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Construction sector, which has declined by 4.9% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most employees in the state of North Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 459,153 to 505,746, a gain of 10.1%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare505,746459,15310.1%
Retail trade499,888437,57014.2%
Manufacturing474,843448,4075.9%
Accommodation and food services430,408336,07728.1%
Waste services296,823214,27838.5%
Professional services254,600179,18442.1%
Construction220,584192,48614.6%
Wholesale trade182,400167,2419.1%
Finance and insurance173,356147,75717.3%
Transport and warehousing133,695101,76831.4%
Other services109,88992,52318.8%
Educational services86,06561,14240.8%
Company management83,88472,87415.1%
Information79,91269,63414.8%
Arts and entertainment72,38656,22328.7%
Real estate and rental59,97649,18221.9%
Agriculture and forestry27,08728,936-6.4%
Utilities14,49812,62714.8%
Mining and oil extraction3,1163,403-8.4%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Accommodation and food services sector, which has increased by 28.1% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Agriculture and forestry sector, which has declined by 6.4% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Company management sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of North Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,519 to $2,087, a gain of 37.4%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Company management$2,087$1,51937.4%
Finance and insurance$1,922$1,27850.4%
Utilities$1,832$1,40530.4%
Professional services$1,631$1,19536.5%
Information$1,614$1,13142.7%
Wholesale trade$1,424$1,09130.5%
Mining and oil extraction$1,189$96822.8%
Manufacturing$1,151$93922.6%
Construction$1,050$75838.5%
Educational services$978$78624.4%
Real estate and rental$977$68343.0%
Transport and warehousing$947$76424.0%
Healthcare$923$74523.9%
Waste services$713$55029.6%
Agriculture and forestry$701$52633.3%
Other services$675$51231.8%
Arts and entertainment$601$53213.0%
Retail trade$551$46319.0%
Accommodation and food services$343$27126.6%

The sector that has had the strongest wage growth is the Finance and insurance sector, which has increased by 50.4% since 2009. The sector that has has the smallest wage growth is the Arts and entertainment sector, which has declined by 13.0% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of North Carolina. This industry currently has 17,352 businesses in it. There is no direct comparison to the total at the end of recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Computer systems design and related services9,0634,57997.9%
Management consulting services8,7044,91477.1%
Private households7,4614,41269.1%
Residential building construction7,3397,568-3.0%
Offices of physicians5,2544,9845.4%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers5,1323,90931.3%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of businesses is the Computer systems design and related services industry, which has increased by 97.9% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Residential building construction industry, which has declined by 3.0% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of North Carolina. This industry currently has 357,161 employees in it. There is no direct comparison back to the total at the end of the recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
General medical and surgical hospitals114,908107,2237.2%
Temporary help services102,45254,39288.4%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores84,37466,67826.5%
Management of companies and enterprises83,88472,87415.1%
Offices of physicians75,91068,57110.7%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Temporary help services industry, which has increased by 88.4% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the Offices of physicians industry, which has declined by 10.7% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Other financial vehicles industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of North Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,954 to $4,498, a gain of 130.2%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Other financial vehicles$4,498$1,954130.2%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$3,765$1,335182.0%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,704$2,42952.5%
Portfolio management$3,108$1,89763.8%
Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers$2,968$2,12139.9%
Miscellaneous intermediation$2,891$3,737-22.6%
Telephone apparatus manufacturing$2,745$2,02835.4%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Other financial vehicles industry, which has increased by 130.2% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Miscellaneous intermediation industry, which has declined by 22.6% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 277 to 358, which is an increase of 29.2%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 41,233 to 43,072, which is an increase of 4.5%.

Table: Change in the number of Businesses by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees161,206143,78012.1%
5-9 Employees43,07241,2334.5%
10-19 Employees30,82027,38712.5%
20-49 Employees22,99819,23719.6%
50-99 Employees7,8186,24425.2%
100-249 Employees3,9053,25220.1%
250-499 Employees95978921.5%
500-999 Employees35827729.2%
More Than 1,000 Employees14911628.4%


Employment Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of employees in companies this size has grown from 256,156 to 339,775, which is an increase of 32.6%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 270,466 to 283,356, which is an increase of 4.8%.

Table: Change in the number of Employees by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees240,013210,77713.9%
5-9 Employees283,356270,4664.8%
10-19 Employees412,172366,16112.6%
20-49 Employees685,827573,15319.7%
50-99 Employees529,301421,49925.6%
100-249 Employees576,315477,15220.8%
250-499 Employees322,754266,56821.1%
500-999 Employees243,549188,58829.1%
More Than 1,000 Employees339,775256,15632.6%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $729 to $1,045, which is an increase of 43.3%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $1,231 to $1,417, which is an increase of 15.1%.

Table: Change Average Weekly Wage by Size Since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$1,045$72943.3%
5-9 Employees$813$61731.8%
10-19 Employees$790$63225.0%
20-49 Employees$799$63525.8%
50-99 Employees$873$68128.2%
100-249 Employees$1,044$77534.7%
250-499 Employees$1,183$91529.3%
500-999 Employees$1,417$1,23115.1%
More Than 1,000 Employees$1,826$1,37033.3%



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.