Washington Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 253,676 employers, up 1.4% from 250,293
  • 3,467,335 employees, up 2.1% from 3,393,795
  • $1,370 average weekly wage, up 6.4% from $1,287
  • The average weekly wage is 15.6% 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 3,383, which is an increase of 1.4%. The number of employees in Washington increased by 73,540, an increase of 2.1%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $83, an increase of 6.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 3,269 or 1.3%. Growth in private businesses in Washington grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 67,109 or 2.4%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Washington was faster than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $91 or 7.0%. 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 24.1% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 4.8%. Professional services (10.9%), which increased by 2.5% and Construction (10.4%), which increased by 1.0%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information2715.7%
Healthcare2,7904.8%
Educational services942.7%
Professional services6702.5%
Company management182.5%
Arts and entertainment722.4%
Utilities51.6%
Transport and warehousing741.5%
Waste services1621.3%
Construction2511.0%
Accommodation and food services710.4%
Finance and insurance260.3%
Manufacturing-33-0.4%
Other services-147-0.7%
Real estate and rental-77-0.9%
Wholesale trade-293-2.1%
Agriculture and forestry-170-2.4%
Retail trade-491-2.5%
Mining and oil extraction-7-4.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 12.6% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.6% in the last year. Retail trade (11.4%), increased by 1.9% and Manufacturing (8.3%), increased by 0.7%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Information11,0808.1%
Agriculture and forestry4,1904.5%
Other services4,1054.2%
Real estate and rental2,2374.1%
Professional services7,6643.8%
Arts and entertainment1,8923.8%
Educational services1,6233.6%
Transport and warehousing2,9182.8%
Healthcare10,9672.6%
Waste services3,4992.0%
Retail trade7,5091.9%
Construction3,5771.7%
Accommodation and food services3,0391.1%
Finance and insurance9631.0%
Company management3100.7%
Manufacturing1,9330.7%
Utilities260.5%
Wholesale trade240.0%
Mining and oil extraction-422-16.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Information paying $3,527per week compared with the state average of $1,382. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $333 or 10.4%. Company management ($2,768), rose by $87 or 3.2% and Professional services ($2,187) increased by $186 or 9.3% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Retail trade$12410.9%
Finance and insurance$19010.4%
Information$33310.4%
Professional services$1869.3%
Real estate and rental$777.0%
Other services$546.8%
Accommodation and food services$326.7%
Construction$735.5%
Agriculture and forestry$355.2%
Waste services$515.2%
Utilities$924.9%
Wholesale trade$694.4%
Transport and warehousing$484.1%
Healthcare$403.8%
Company management$873.2%
Educational services$202.6%
Manufacturing$382.5%
Mining and oil extraction$191.3%
Arts and entertainment$-2-0.3%


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 17.0% of the businesses in the state (with 43,169 employing 65,349 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 2,483 more businesses, an increase of 6.1% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.5% of businesses) added 73 businesses, an increase of 0.5% and Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of businesses) added 288 businesses, an increase of 3.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Farm product warehousing and storage41141.4%
Trusts estates and agency accounts26130.0%
Other hospitals6100.0%
Casinos except casino hotels375.0%
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers266.7%
Rail transportation150.0%
Office equipment merchant wholesalers5250.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled2,4836.1%
Computer systems design and related services2883.5%
Software publishers20315.1%
Residential building construction1682.1%
Management consulting services1674.3%
Other technical consulting services1189.0%
Accounting and bookkeeping services812.5%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.5% of employees) added 73 employees, an increase of 0.5% and Computer systems design and related services (3.3% ofemployees) added 288 employees, an increase of 3.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Religious organizations2,722183.4%
Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy mfg.8080.4%
Nonwoven fabric mills2958.8%
Local messengers and local delivery1,31143.1%
Spring and wire product manufacturing6631.0%
Charter bus industry31629.5%
Tortilla manufacturing2026.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses11,17922.2%
Internet publishing and web search portals4,68921.3%
Software publishers4,6897.0%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing2,9323.4%
Religious organizations2,722183.4%
Support activities for crop production2,62712.3%
Data processing hosting and related services2,59521.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Pension funds, paying $4,880 compared with the state average of $1,382. Employees in the Pension funds industry were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% in the last year. Computer and peripheral equipment mfg. ($4,876) and Internet publishing and web search portals ($4,661) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Computer and peripheral equipment mfg. ($4,876 per week) were paid $2,443 more per week, an increase of 100.4% and Internet publishing and web search portals ($4,661 per week) were paid $323 more per week, an increase of 7.4% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Taxi service$1,514294.6%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$1,200146.7%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$2,443100.4%
Agents and managers for public figures$1,17497.3%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing$85581.5%
Other ground passenger transportation$58566.2%
Nonwoven fabric mills$46360.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$2,443100.4%
Taxi service$1,514294.6%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$1,200146.7%
Agents and managers for public figures$1,17497.3%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$1,16360.0%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$1,02954.3%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing$85581.5%


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 91.2%. (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 disabled43,1696.1%
Restaurants and other eating places13,9890.5%
Computer systems design and related services8,4793.5%
Residential building construction8,1392.1%
Private households6,256-2.5%
Management consulting services4,0384.3%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers3,872-11.6%
Accounting and bookkeeping services3,2832.5%
Landscaping services3,2531.3%
Offices of dentists3,2280.3%


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 places224,4630.7%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing88,8933.4%
General medical and surgical hospitals88,8412.5%
Software publishers71,2777.0%
Services for the elderly and disabled65,3492.6%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses61,62022.2%
Computer systems design and related services59,5942.9%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores56,1310.6%
Offices of physicians54,2581.8%
Temporary help services51,914-1.2%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Pension funds$4,8800.0%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$4,876100.4%
Internet publishing and web search portals$4,6617.4%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,645-7.9%
Securities brokerage$4,20317.1%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses$4,176-0.1%
Software publishers$4,10213.3%
Securities and commodity exchanges$3,95810.3%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,9555.3%
Portfolio management$3,906-0.8%




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.