Washington Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 251,318 employers, up 0.8% from 249,207
  • 3,450,009 employees, up 2.0% from 3,382,374
  • $1,288 average weekly wage, up 5.9% from $1,216
  • The average weekly wage is 17.6% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 10.7% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 2,111, which is an increase of 0.8%. The number of employees in Washington increased by 67,634, an increase of 2.0%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $72, an increase of 5.9%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 2,021 or 0.8%. Growth in private businesses in Washington grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 61,409 or 2.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Washington 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 $75 or 6.2%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Washington grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 23.9% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 4.4%. Professional services (10.7%), which increased by 1.0% and Construction (10.4%), which increased by 0.1%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information2906.3%
Healthcare2,5054.4%
Utilities103.2%
Company management192.7%
Arts and entertainment361.2%
Educational services371.1%
Professional services2751.0%
Finance and insurance120.1%
Transport and warehousing40.1%
Construction150.1%
Manufacturing-19-0.2%
Accommodation and food services-51-0.3%
Waste services-61-0.5%
Real estate and rental-54-0.6%
Other services-213-1.1%
Wholesale trade-384-2.8%
Retail trade-579-2.9%
Agriculture and forestry-244-3.4%
Mining and oil extraction-8-5.1%


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, had an increase in employees of 2.7% in the last year. Retail trade (11.0%), increased by 1.3% and Accommodation and food services (8.4%), increased by 2.1%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Information10,4878.0%
Other services4,0504.1%
Construction7,3243.7%
Real estate and rental1,8623.5%
Utilities1703.4%
Professional services6,4953.3%
Educational services1,2402.8%
Manufacturing7,8792.8%
Healthcare11,3942.7%
Accommodation and food services6,0832.1%
Company management8061.8%
Waste services2,6171.6%
Retail trade4,8431.3%
Arts and entertainment6121.2%
Transport and warehousing8800.9%
Wholesale trade5220.4%
Finance and insurance-440.0%
Agriculture and forestry-5,810-4.9%
Mining and oil extraction-268-10.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Information paying $3,384per week compared with the state average of $1,294. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $373 or 12.4%. Company management ($2,122), rose by $89 or 4.4% and Professional services ($1,931) increased by $94 or 5.1% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$37312.4%
Utilities$18010.3%
Real estate and rental$656.5%
Arts and entertainment$396.4%
Waste services$586.2%
Other services$445.7%
Construction$695.7%
Mining and oil extraction$735.6%
Transport and warehousing$635.6%
Finance and insurance$905.4%
Accommodation and food services$245.3%
Professional services$945.1%
Retail trade$615.0%
Agriculture and forestry$274.5%
Company management$894.4%
Healthcare$424.1%
Wholesale trade$432.9%
Manufacturing$402.8%
Educational services$202.7%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Washington. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 16.9% of the businesses in the state (with 42,457 employing 64,768 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 2,381 more businesses, an increase of 5.9% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.5% of businesses) had 41 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.3% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% of businesses) added 52 businesses, an increase of 0.6% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Farm product warehousing and storage42144.8%
Trusts estates and agency accounts1155.0%
Toilet preparation manufacturing934.6%
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers133.3%
Pension funds133.3%
Goat farming327.3%
Advertising material distribution services325.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled2,3815.9%
Software publishers21116.9%
Management consulting services1183.1%
Commercial banking1138.1%
Other technical consulting services856.7%
Residential building construction680.9%
Offices of all other health practitioners534.7%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.5% of employees) had 41 fewer employees, a decline of 0.3% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% ofemployees) added 52 employees, an increase of 0.6% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Religious organizations2,574169.9%
Trusts estates and agency accounts2677.4%
Local messengers and local delivery82831.4%
Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing22730.4%
Distilleries7830.0%
Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy mfg.2626.0%
Internet publishing and web search portals4,98825.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses6,86114.2%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing5,5456.7%
Internet publishing and web search portals4,98825.7%
Software publishers4,5487.1%
Restaurants and other eating places3,5791.6%
General medical and surgical hospitals2,9143.5%
Religious organizations2,574169.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Electronic shopping and mail-order houses, paying $4,821 compared with the state average of $1,294. The Electronic shopping and mail-order houses industry paid their employees $220 less per week, a decline of 4.4% in the last year. Investment banking and securities dealing ($4,690) and Internet publishing and web search portals ($4,659) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Investment banking and securities dealing ($4,690 per week) were paid $22 more per week, an increase of 0.5% and Internet publishing and web search portals ($4,659 per week) were paid $119 more per week, an increase of 2.6% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,823255.0%
Taxi service$674150.4%
All other financial investment activities$1,450120.8%
Other ground passenger transportation$46358.0%
Music publishers$87753.8%
Advertising material distribution services$22352.8%
Goat farming$17952.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,823255.0%
All other financial investment activities$1,450120.8%
Music publishers$87753.8%
Data processing hosting and related services$81632.0%
Taxi service$674150.4%
Electric power generation$67135.1%
Miscellaneous intermediation$64922.3%


Company Size

Washington Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Washington by far. 66.9% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 236,508 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.) Washington added 4,112 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,063 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.7% 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 37 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 added 12 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.9% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Washington Employees by Business Size

Washington added 169,184 employees in the last year, an increase of 6.5% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 48,804 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 26.0% 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 23,905 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 2.4% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 96,475 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 22.7% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Washington Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Washington (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 16.5% less than the national average ($863 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Washington (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 38.5% workers above the national average ($3,111 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $139 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $125 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $45 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 0.9% 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
Services for the elderly and disabled42,4575.9%
Restaurants and other eating places13,853-0.3%
Computer systems design and related services8,1670.6%
Residential building construction7,9370.9%
Private households6,368-2.0%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4,048-11.5%
Management consulting services3,8803.1%
Offices of dentists3,2320.2%
Landscaping services3,231-0.5%
Accounting and bookkeeping services3,2040.5%


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 places228,8801.6%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing88,4176.7%
General medical and surgical hospitals87,7253.5%
Software publishers68,7607.1%
Services for the elderly and disabled64,7683.2%
Computer systems design and related services57,8112.6%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores55,8941.5%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses54,95414.2%
Offices of physicians52,8591.0%
Temporary help services49,7221.5%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses$4,821-4.4%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,6900.5%
Internet publishing and web search portals$4,6592.6%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$3,930255.0%
Software publishers$3,87010.2%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,56522.3%
Securities and commodity exchanges$3,47616.9%
Data processing hosting and related services$3,36432.0%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$3,2122.9%
Petroleum refineries$3,13913.8%




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.