North Carolina Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 284,702 employers, up 2.1% from 278,812
  • 4,511,896 employees, up 2.0% from 4,425,470
  • $970 average weekly wage, up 3.9% from $934
  • The average weekly wage is 11.4% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 5.1% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 5,890, which is an increase of 2.1%. The number of employees in North Carolina increased by 86,426, an increase of 2.0%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $36, an increase of 3.9%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 5,960 or 2.2%. Growth in private businesses in North Carolina grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 84,872 or 2.3%. The growth in employees of private businesses in North Carolina was faster 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 $35 or 3.8%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in North Carolina 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 Professional services with 13.9% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.0%. Retail trade (12.0%), which increased by 0.1% and Construction (9.7%), which increased by 3.6%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information3536.7%
Utilities254.6%
Educational services1614.6%
Transport and warehousing3094.4%
Real estate and rental5164.1%
Construction9553.6%
Professional services1,1683.0%
Other services6532.8%
Waste services5392.8%
Healthcare6162.6%
Arts and entertainment741.8%
Accommodation and food services3861.8%
Wholesale trade1120.6%
Finance and insurance760.5%
Retail trade260.1%
Manufacturing60.1%
Agriculture and forestry20.1%
Company management-6-0.3%
Mining and oil extraction-11-5.0%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.4% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.2% in the last year. Retail trade (11.1%), increased by 0.1% and Manufacturing (10.6%), increased by 0.7%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing10,2127.8%
Finance and insurance10,3836.0%
Construction12,4245.6%
Other services5,1894.7%
Professional services11,0634.4%
Educational services2,9303.4%
Wholesale trade5,7823.2%
Accommodation and food services10,5632.4%
Healthcare11,1012.2%
Arts and entertainment1,5702.1%
Real estate and rental1,2382.1%
Company management1,3951.7%
Waste services3,1781.1%
Manufacturing3,2230.7%
Retail trade6700.1%
Mining and oil extraction-43-1.4%
Agriculture and forestry-689-2.4%
Utilities-542-3.7%
Information-4,774-5.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $1,929per week compared with the state average of $968. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $154 or 8.7%. Finance and insurance ($1,754), rose by $36 or 2.1% and Utilities ($1,645) increased by $6 or 0.4% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$1548.7%
Information$1097.2%
Mining and oil extraction$726.3%
Waste services$415.9%
Construction$454.4%
Agriculture and forestry$274.0%
Accommodation and food services$133.9%
Healthcare$353.9%
Real estate and rental$363.9%
Other services$263.9%
Retail trade$193.5%
Wholesale trade$423.0%
Manufacturing$322.9%
Professional services$322.1%
Finance and insurance$362.1%
Transport and warehousing$192.0%
Educational services$101.0%
Utilities$60.4%
Arts and entertainment$-1-0.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In North Carolina. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.2% of the businesses in the state (with 17,625 employing 370,641 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 323 more businesses, an increase of 1.9% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of businesses) added 288 businesses, an increase of 3.2% and Management consulting services (3.2% of businesses) added 324 businesses, an increase of 3.7% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Securities and commodity exchanges2200.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts43153.6%
Urban transit systems12133.3%
Advertising material distribution services10380.5%
Petroleum refineries266.7%
News syndicates1460.9%
Farm product warehousing and storage833.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Private households4065.4%
Residential building construction4045.5%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers3306.4%
Management consulting services3243.7%
Restaurants and other eating places3231.9%
Computer systems design and related services2883.2%
Software publishers21114.0%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of employees) added 288 employees, an increase of 3.2% and Management consulting services (3.2% ofemployees) added 324 employees, an increase of 3.7% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Advertising material distribution services190109.6%
Cut and sew apparel contractors15790.7%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.24175.9%
Satellite telecommunications7967.5%
Emergency and other relief services94664.9%
Used motor vehicle parts merchant wholesalers66553.8%
Farm product warehousing and storage4948.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places6,9731.9%
Commercial banking6,60711.4%
General warehousing and storage3,50613.3%
Computer systems design and related services2,9505.3%
General medical and surgical hospitals2,6742.3%
Residential building construction2,5929.5%
Offices of physicians2,5123.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Other financial vehicles, paying $19,143 compared with the state average of $968. Employees in the Other financial vehicles industry were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% in the last year. Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing ($4,274) and Petrochemical manufacturing ($3,522) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing ($4,274 per week) were paid $1,851 more per week, an increase of 76.4% and Petrochemical manufacturing ($3,522 per week) were paid $1,418 more per week, an increase of 67.4% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Petroleum refineries$1,335145.4%
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing$1,85176.4%
Document preparation services$52169.4%
Petrochemical manufacturing$1,41867.4%
Used motor vehicle parts merchant wholesalers$55865.8%
Synthetic dye and pigment manufacturing$58238.9%
Shoe stores$12938.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing$1,85176.4%
Petrochemical manufacturing$1,41867.4%
Petroleum refineries$1,335145.4%
Synthetic dye and pigment manufacturing$58238.9%
Used motor vehicle parts merchant wholesalers$55865.8%
Document preparation services$52169.4%
Flavoring syrup and concentrate manufacturing$45133.6%


Company Size

North Carolina Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in North Carolina by far. 59.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 261,054 small businesses in the state represent 95.1% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) North Carolina added 2,421 businesses in the last year, an increase of 0.9% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 2,193 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.8% 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 215 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 13 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.6% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



North Carolina Employees by Business Size

North Carolina added 274,976 employees in the last year, an increase of 8.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 95,672 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 57.8% 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 97,396 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 7.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 81,908 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 15.5% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

North Carolina Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in North Carolina (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 4.6% more than the national average ($1,054 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in North Carolina (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 5.3% workers below the national average ($1,817 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $94 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.7% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $89 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $104 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% 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 places17,6251.9%
Computer systems design and related services9,4133.2%
Management consulting services9,0523.7%
Private households7,8965.4%
Residential building construction7,7475.5%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers5,4596.4%
Offices of physicians5,2870.5%
Offices of lawyers4,4191.6%
Insurance agencies and brokerages4,3422.1%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4,148-8.8%


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 places370,6411.9%
General medical and surgical hospitals117,2072.3%
Temporary help services103,6931.4%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores86,2281.3%
Management of companies and enterprises85,3341.7%
Offices of physicians78,0543.3%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters68,082-1.1%
Commercial banking64,67711.4%
Computer systems design and related services58,2695.3%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels44,0163.0%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Other financial vehicles$19,1430.0%
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing$4,27476.4%
Petrochemical manufacturing$3,52267.4%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$3,31912.1%
Securities and commodity exchanges$3,2070.0%
Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers$3,0072.2%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$2,922-45.9%
Miscellaneous intermediation$2,74813.8%
Telephone apparatus manufacturing$2,6960.8%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,5896.3%




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.