Alabama Employment Statistics

  • 127,038 employers
  • 1,961,448 employees
  • $911 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 17.3% 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 Alabama, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 95.1% of employers run private companies in the state, 2.0% less than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 4.9% of employers are government agencies: 0.9% work in a federal agency, 1.1% work for the state and 2.9% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
81.5% of employees work for a private company. This is 3.8% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 10.9% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 4.9% of the workers and the federal government employs 2.7%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (18.5%) is 3.8% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Alabama is $911 per week, which is 17.3% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. Alabama workers that are employed by private businesses earn $894 per week, 18.7% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Alabama earn $1,604 per week, a premium of 79.4% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Retail trade with 14.5% of the businesses in the state. Professional services (11.0%) and Healthcare (9.1%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Retail trade18,44914.5%
Professional services13,97011.0%
Healthcare11,6199.1%
Other services10,0877.9%
Construction9,8667.8%
Wholesale trade9,7567.7%
Accommodation and food services9,7007.6%
Finance and insurance8,3146.5%
Waste services6,8575.4%
Manufacturing5,5584.4%
Real estate and rental5,0394.0%
Transport and warehousing3,7973.0%
Information2,1621.7%
Agriculture and forestry1,4951.2%
Arts and entertainment1,2941.0%
Educational services1,0480.8%
Company management9870.8%
Utilities4180.3%
Mining and oil extraction3440.3%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 13.6% of the employees in the state. Retail trade (11.8%) and Healthcare (10.9%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Manufacturing266,74813.6%
Retail trade230,97611.8%
Healthcare213,94610.9%
Accommodation and food services184,8939.4%
Waste services124,5676.4%
Professional services105,0265.4%
Construction89,1574.5%
Wholesale trade73,9993.8%
Finance and insurance71,2993.6%
Transport and warehousing58,8053.0%
Other services46,0872.3%
Real estate and rental23,2791.2%
Information21,0201.1%
Arts and entertainment21,0171.1%
Educational services19,3561.0%
Company management15,5940.8%
Utilities13,7720.7%
Agriculture and forestry12,1000.6%
Mining and oil extraction6,2980.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,100per week compared with the state average of $894. Company management ($1,989) and Mining and oil extraction ($1,628) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Utilities$2,100234.9%
Company management$1,989222.5%
Mining and oil extraction$1,628182.1%
Professional services$1,518169.8%
Finance and insurance$1,486166.2%
Wholesale trade$1,283143.5%
Information$1,154129.1%
Manufacturing$1,098122.8%
Construction$1,037116.0%
Transport and warehousing$937104.8%
Healthcare$911101.9%
Real estate and rental$85896.0%
Agriculture and forestry$80189.6%
Other services$72781.3%
Educational services$69377.5%
Waste services$56463.1%
Retail trade$54561.0%
Arts and entertainment$35739.9%
Accommodation and food services$31935.7%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Alabama. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.2% of the businesses in the state (with 7,863 employing 157,649 workers). Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.5%) and Offices of physicians (2.6%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places7,86320.0
Wholesale trade agents and brokers5,6902.8
Offices of physicians3,27912.3
Gasoline stations with convenience stores3,2665.2
Private households3,1741.1
Offices of lawyers2,5495.0
Computer systems design and related services2,5459.9
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,3934.4
Management consulting services2,0604.8
Accounting and bookkeeping services1,9514.9


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 8.0% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 157,649 in 7,863 businesses, there are 20.0 employees on average in each of these businesses. Temporary help services (2.8%) and General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters (2.2%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places157,64920.0
Temporary help services54,36934.5
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters43,35429.7
General medical and surgical hospitals41,043471.8
Offices of physicians40,26312.3
Supermarkets and other grocery stores29,46940.4
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing27,190120.8
Commercial banking26,21317.1
Computer systems design and related services25,1859.9
Animal slaughtering and processing23,469266.7


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Investment banking and securities dealing, paying $4,154 compared with the state average of $894. Securities brokerage ($3,082) and Computer and software merchant wholesalers ($2,960) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,154464.7
Securities brokerage$3,082344.7
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,960331.1
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$2,834317.0
Crude petroleum extraction$2,558286.1
Portfolio management$2,436272.5
Electric power generation$2,300257.3
Petroleum refineries$2,260252.8
Electric power transmission and distribution$2,199246.0
Other basic organic chemical manufacturing$2,147240.2


Company Size

Alabama Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Alabama by far. 55.9% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 114,546 small businesses in the state represent 95.5% 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.

Alabama Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 88.8% of all employees, which is 49.7% lower than the national average of 138.4%. 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 89.9% of all workers, which is 1.6% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 637.9% of the labor force in the state, 87.9% more than the national average of 550.0%.

Alabama Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Alabama workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Alabama (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 7.6% less than the national average ($906 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Alabama (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 34.0% workers below the national average ($1,405 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



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.