Tennessee Employment Statistics
86.0% of employees work for a private company, this is 0.8% greater than the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 9.5% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 2.8% of the workers and the federal government employs 1.6%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (14.0%) is 0.8% lower than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
- 161,793 employers
- 2,977,953 employees
- $970 average weekly wage
- The average weekly wage is 11.9% below the national average
- The cost of living is 10.5% below the national average
Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)
As an employer in Tennessee, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 97.3% of employers run private companies in the state, BIGGER0.3% greater than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 2.7% of employers are government agencies: 0.8% work in a federal agency, 0.8% work for the state and 1.1% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
The average weekly wage in Tennessee is $970 per week, which is 11.9% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. Tennessee workers that are employed by private businesses earn $974 per week, 11.5% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Tennessee earn $1,572 per week, a premium of 61.4% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.
Businesses by SectorThe sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Retail trade with 13.9% of the businesses in the state. Professional services (11.5%) and Other services (9.6%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
|Sector||# Businesses||% of Bus.|
|Accommodation and food services||13,454||8.3%|
|Finance and insurance||9,818||6.1%|
|Real estate and rental||5,889||3.6%|
|Transport and warehousing||4,585||2.8%|
|Arts and entertainment||2,993||1.8%|
|Agriculture and forestry||889||0.5%|
|Mining and oil extraction||211||0.1%|
Employees by Sector
The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare
with 12.5% of the employees in the state. Manufacturing
(11.8%) and Retail trade
(11.3%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
|Sector||# Employees||% of Emp'|
|Accommodation and food services||298,217||10.0%|
|Transport and warehousing||163,391||5.5%|
|Finance and insurance||110,530||3.7%|
|Real estate and rental||40,618||1.4%|
|Arts and entertainment||39,614||1.3%|
|Agriculture and forestry||7,516||0.3%|
|Mining and oil extraction||3,509||0.1%|
Average Weekly Wage by Sector
The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management
paying $2,091per week compared with the state average of $974. Finance and insurance
($1,656) and Professional services
($1,540) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
|Sector||Wkly Wage||vs St Avg.|
|Finance and insurance||$1,656||170.0%|
|Mining and oil extraction||$1,394||143.1%|
|Transport and warehousing||$1,075||110.4%|
|Arts and entertainment||$1,029||105.6%|
|Real estate and rental||$983||100.9%|
|Agriculture and forestry||$668||68.6%|
|Accommodation and food services||$376||38.6%|
Businesses by Industry
Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Tennessee. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places
with 6.6% of the businesses in the state (with 10,748 employing 243,911 workers). Private households
(4.2%) and Computer systems design and related services
(2.6%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
|Restaurants and other eating places||10,748||22.7|
|Computer systems design and related services||4,199||4.9|
|Offices of physicians||4,059||16.2|
|Management consulting services||3,371||8.0|
|Gasoline stations with convenience stores||3,239||6.5|
|Insurance agencies and brokerages||2,692||6.4|
|Offices of lawyers||2,528||5.2|
|Accounting and bookkeeping services||2,425||9.5|
|Residential building construction||2,391||5.2|
Employees by Industry
The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places
with 8.2% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 243,911 in 10,748 businesses, there are 22.7 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals
(3.5%) and Temporary help services
(3.1%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
|Restaurants and other eating places||243,911||22.7|
|General medical and surgical hospitals||103,274||717.2|
|Temporary help services||93,113||52.5|
|Offices of physicians||65,577||16.2|
|Management of companies and enterprises||50,775||35.7|
|Supermarkets and other grocery stores||48,176||50.5|
|General freight trucking long-distance||43,248||30.5|
|Couriers and express delivery services||39,755||162.3|
|General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters||38,772||25.7|
|Hotels and motels except casino hotels||35,168||23.9|
Average Weekly Wage by Industry
The industry that pays their employees the most is Cable and other subscription programming
, paying $6,246 compared with the state average of $974. Portfolio management
($5,063) and Spectator sports
($4,852) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
|Industry||Wkly Wage||% of Avg|
|Cable and other subscription programming||$6,246||641.3|
|Other financial vehicles||$3,483||357.6|
|Animal food manufacturing||$3,422||351.3|
|Musical groups and artists||$3,135||321.9|
|Investment banking and securities dealing||$3,054||313.6|
|Agents and managers for public figures||$2,682||275.4|
Tennessee Businesses by Size
company, has the most businesses in Tennessee. 54.8% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 147,797 small businesses in the state represent 94.3% 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.
Tennessee Employees by Business Size
The largest companies in the state represent 188.7% of all employees, which is 50.3% higher 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 92.8% of all workers, which is 1.3% higher than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 651.4% of the labor force in the state, 101.4% more than the national average of 550.0%.
Tennessee Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size
The smallest companies in Tennessee (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 2.1% more than the national average ($996 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Tennessee (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 24.2% workers below the national average ($1,515 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).
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.