- 161,793 employers
- 2.98 million 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, 0.3% higher than the national average. The remaining 2.7% of employers are government agencies: 0.8% of employers are federal agencies, 0.8% are state agencies and 1.1% are local government agencies. The chart below illustrates this breakout.
86.0% of employees work for a private company. This is 0.8% higher 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 average pay in the state is $970, which is 11.9% lower than the national average of $1,101. 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.
Leading Sectors & Industries
The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Retail trade with 14.2% of the businesses in the state. Professional services (11.8%) and Other services (9.8%) round out the top 3 sectors. The sector that employs the greatest number of workers is Healthcare which employs 14.5% of all workers, followed by Manufacturing and Retail trade which account for 13.7% and 13.2% of private company employees. The table below illustrates the number of businesses by sector:
|Professional and technical services||18,537||11.8%|
|Other services, except public administration||15,495||9.8%|
|Health care and social assistance||14,375||9.1%|
|Accommodation and food services||13,454||8.5%|
|Finance and insurance||9,818||6.2%|
|Administrative and waste services||9,577||6.1%|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||5,889||3.7%|
|Transportation and warehousing||4,585||2.9%|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||2,993||1.9%|
|Management of companies and enterprises||1,424||0.9%|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting||889||0.6%|
|Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction||211||0.1%|
The table below lists the sectors with the greatest number of employees:
|Health care and social assistance||371,876||14.5%|
|Accommodation and food services||298,217||11.6%|
|Administrative and waste services||225,972||8.8%|
|Transportation and warehousing||163,391||6.4%|
|Professional and technical services||140,642||5.5%|
|Finance and insurance||110,530||4.3%|
|Other services, except public administration||78,729||3.1%|
|Management of companies and enterprises||50,775||2.0%|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||40,618||1.6%|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||39,614||1.5%|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting||7,516||0.3%|
|Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction||3,509||0.1%|
The table below is ordered by the average weekly wage for each sector:
|Management of companies and enterprises||$2,091|
|Finance and insurance||$1,656|
|Professional and technical services||$1,540|
|Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction||$1,394|
|Transportation and warehousing||$1,075|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||$1,029|
|Health care and social assistance||$1,015|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||$983|
|Administrative and waste services||$697|
|Other services, except public administration||$676|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting||$668|
|Accommodation and food services||$376|
Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Tennessee the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places (with 10,748 businesses employing 243,911 workers). The next two industries are Private householdsand Computer systems design and related services. Here are the industries with the most businesses in the state:
|Detailed Industry||# Biz||Emp/Biz|
|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|
Restaurants and other eating places is the industry that employs the most workers, employing a total of 243,911 people in 10,748 businesses. On average, these employees are paid $342, 64.7% less than the state average. There are 22.7 employees on average in each of these businesses. The next largest employing industry is General medical and surgical hospitals.
|Detailed Industry||# Emp||Emp/Biz|
|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|
The industry that pays the most (on an average weekly basis) is Cable and other subscription programming. There are 1,080 employees working in 19 businesses. The next best paying industries are Portfolio management and Spectator sports.
|Detailed Industry||Wkly Wage|
|Cable and other subscription programming||$6,246|
|Other financial vehicles||$3,483|
|Animal food manufacturing||$3,422|
The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Tennessee by far. 56.2% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 147,797 small businesses in the state represent 96.9% of all private businesses. The national average is 97.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.
The largest companies in the state represent 11.7% of all employees, which is 0.7% higher than the national average of 11.0%. Smallest companies also employ a lower percentage of the states workforce than the largest companies. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 5.8% of all workers, which is 1.5% lower than the national average of 7.3%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 40.5% of the labor force in the state, 3.1% less than the national average of 43.6%.
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).
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.