Rhode Island Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 38,786 employers, up 2.5% from 37,853
  • 488,334 employees, up 0.6% from 485,233
  • $1,034 average weekly wage, up 3.4% from $1,000
  • The average weekly wage is 5.6% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 19.4% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 933, which is an increase of 2.5%. The number of employees in Rhode Island increased by 3,101, an increase of 0.6%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $34, an increase of 3.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 912 or 2.5%. Growth in private businesses in Rhode Island grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 1,705 or 0.4%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Rhode Island 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 $34 or 3.6%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Rhode Island 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 14.5% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 5.6%. Healthcare (10.2%), which increased by 2.0% and Construction (9.9%), which increased by 3.1%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Utilities49.5%
Arts and entertainment457.5%
Educational services416.4%
Manufacturing986.3%
Transport and warehousing496.2%
Professional services2985.6%
Waste services1063.6%
Construction1163.1%
Real estate and rental343.0%
Accommodation and food services882.8%
Healthcare762.0%
Other services651.9%
Finance and insurance301.8%
Agriculture and forestry21.1%
Retail trade240.6%
Mining and oil extraction00.0%
Information-8-1.1%
Wholesale trade-46-1.5%
Company management-22-7.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 16.6% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.5% in the last year. Accommodation and food services (10.9%), increased by 5.0% and Retail trade (9.8%), decreased by 1.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Accommodation and food services2,5075.0%
Construction8924.6%
Transport and warehousing3693.5%
Healthcare1,2051.5%
Other services2021.1%
Educational services2131.1%
Real estate and rental681.1%
Professional services210.1%
Agriculture and forestry00.0%
Mining and oil extraction00.0%
Information-7-0.1%
Company management-31-0.2%
Wholesale trade-48-0.3%
Utilities-8-0.7%
Finance and insurance-237-0.9%
Waste services-333-1.1%
Retail trade-604-1.2%
Manufacturing-690-1.7%
Arts and entertainment-1,810-18.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,035per week compared with the state average of $980. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $75 or 3.8%. Utilities ($2,027), declined by $55 or 2.6% and Finance and insurance ($1,783) increased by $103 or 6.1% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Accommodation and food services$287.0%
Finance and insurance$1036.1%
Wholesale trade$715.2%
Information$614.6%
Healthcare$353.9%
Waste services$273.8%
Company management$753.8%
Real estate and rental$333.8%
Retail trade$223.6%
Manufacturing$343.1%
Professional services$433.0%
Other services$172.7%
Educational services$242.4%
Transport and warehousing$182.3%
Arts and entertainment$122.0%
Construction$221.9%
Mining and oil extraction$00.0%
Agriculture and forestry$00.0%
Utilities$-55-2.6%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Rhode Island. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.4% of the businesses in the state (with 2,480 employing 40,153 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 51 more businesses, an increase of 2.1% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (4.3% of businesses) added 104 businesses, an increase of 6.6% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.1% of businesses) had 137 fewer businesses, a decline of 10.3% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Toilet preparation manufacturing4133.3%
Coffee and tea manufacturing5100.0%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing1588.2%
Transport. goods merchant wholesalers466.7%
Amusement arcades466.7%
Beef cattle ranching farming and feedlots266.7%
Commodity contracts dealing266.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Management consulting services12816.7%
Computer systems design and related services1046.6%
Services for the elderly and disabled737.9%
Residential building construction525.1%
Restaurants and other eating places512.1%
Private households407.8%
Landscaping services385.3%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (4.3% of employees) added 104 employees, an increase of 6.6% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.1% ofemployees) had 137 fewer employees, a decline of 10.3% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Breweries9370.1%
Vending machine operators6366.2%
Motion picture and video production10360.6%
Book and periodical merchant wholesalers2657.8%
Mobile food services2756.2%
Food crops grown under cover2655.2%
Advertising material distribution services651.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General medical and surgical hospitals4882.7%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories30329.8%
Colleges and universities2011.8%
School and employee bus transportation1918.0%
Electronic instrument manufacturing1817.2%
Landscaping services1754.6%
Plumbing and hvac contractors1574.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Portfolio management, paying $8,584 compared with the state average of $980. Employees in the Portfolio management industry were paid $1,518 more per week, an increase of 21.5% in the last year. Direct mail advertising ($4,614) and Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,691) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Direct mail advertising ($4,614 per week) were paid $1,792 more per week, an increase of 63.5% and Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,691 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
Direct mail advertising$1,79263.5%
Rooming and boarding houses$12050.2%
Savings institutions$41740.1%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories$43040.0%
Noncitrus fruit and tree nut farming$10934.6%
Semiconductor and electronic component mfg.$39034.4%
Photofinishing$19534.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Direct mail advertising$1,79263.5%
Portfolio management$1,51821.5%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories$43040.0%
Savings institutions$41740.1%
Furniture merchant wholesalers$39619.0%
Semiconductor and electronic component mfg.$39034.4%
Direct life and health insurance carriers$38824.1%


Company Size

Rhode Island Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Rhode Island by far. 65.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 36,572 small businesses in the state represent 96.3% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Rhode Island added 1,043 businesses in the last year, an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 1,040 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.9% 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 5 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 2 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 3.9% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Rhode Island Employees by Business Size

Rhode Island added 11,890 employees in the last year, an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 9,924 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 37.2% 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 1,668 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 1.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 298 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 0.5% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Rhode Island Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Rhode Island (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 11.0% more than the national average ($1,129 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Rhode Island (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 27.8% workers below the national average ($1,497 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $168 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.8% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $94 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $-94 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of -2.8% 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 places2,4802.1%
Computer systems design and related services1,6726.6%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers1,189-10.3%
Residential building construction1,0645.1%
Services for the elderly and disabled9997.9%
Management consulting services89316.7%
Offices of lawyers7820.5%
Landscaping services7575.3%
Offices of physicians590-5.8%
Accounting and bookkeeping services5790.3%


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 places40,1530.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals18,4872.7%
Management of companies and enterprises13,236-0.2%
Colleges and universities12,0521.8%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing9,9500.0%
Temporary help services9,075-7.7%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores8,684-1.2%
Commercial banking8,4651.6%
Offices of physicians8,298-1.6%
Computer systems design and related services7,437-0.6%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Portfolio management$8,58421.5%
Direct mail advertising$4,61463.5%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,6910.0%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,1610.0%
Cable and other subscription programming$2,8570.0%
Securities brokerage$2,492-6.3%
Investment advice$2,48216.0%
Furniture merchant wholesalers$2,47919.0%
Software publishers$2,32010.3%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing$2,3163.9%




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.