Alabama Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 129,355 employers, up 3.0% from 125,635
  • 1,968,459 employees, up 1.8% from 1,934,837
  • $944 average weekly wage, up 2.5% from $921
  • The average weekly wage is 20.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 10.5% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 3,720, which is an increase of 3.0%. The number of employees in Alabama increased by 33,622, an increase of 1.8%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $23, an increase of 2.5%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 3,717 or 3.1%. Growth in private businesses in Alabama grew faster than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 30,385 or 1.9%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Alabama was faster than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $25 or 2.7%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Alabama grew slower than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Retail trade with 14.3% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 1.0%. Professional services (11.0%), which increased by 3.1% and Healthcare (9.6%), which increased by 7.8%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information20810.0%
Healthcare9017.8%
Utilities225.4%
Real estate and rental2454.9%
Educational services454.4%
Transport and warehousing1604.3%
Waste services2754.1%
Arts and entertainment443.5%
Accommodation and food services2943.1%
Construction3033.1%
Professional services4313.1%
Manufacturing1602.9%
Mining and oil extraction82.4%
Agriculture and forestry292.0%
Finance and insurance1682.0%
Other services1791.8%
Retail trade1771.0%
Wholesale trade670.7%
Company management10.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 13.7% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.5% in the last year. Retail trade (11.6%), increased by 0.3% and Healthcare (11.0%), increased by 2.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Construction4,3535.1%
Transport and warehousing2,8424.9%
Mining and oil extraction2423.9%
Waste services4,3763.6%
Company management5523.5%
Real estate and rental7663.4%
Information5802.8%
Professional services2,8762.7%
Healthcare4,5272.2%
Other services9852.2%
Agriculture and forestry2422.0%
Accommodation and food services3,1311.7%
Manufacturing3,9591.5%
Arts and entertainment2221.1%
Utilities1521.1%
Wholesale trade5280.7%
Retail trade6290.3%
Educational services100.1%
Finance and insurance-585-0.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $3,392per week compared with the state average of $936. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $214 or 6.7%. Company management ($2,345), declined by $123 or 5.0% and Mining and oil extraction ($1,763) increased by $30 or 1.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$13811.4%
Arts and entertainment$298.2%
Utilities$2146.7%
Educational services$426.4%
Construction$454.5%
Waste services$203.6%
Wholesale trade$473.6%
Accommodation and food services$113.6%
Other services$223.1%
Retail trade$163.0%
Agriculture and forestry$222.9%
Professional services$412.8%
Healthcare$222.6%
Manufacturing$272.4%
Transport and warehousing$202.1%
Mining and oil extraction$301.7%
Finance and insurance$181.0%
Real estate and rental$10.1%
Company management$-123-5.0%


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 7,980 employing 155,869 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 251 more businesses, an increase of 3.2% in the last year. Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.4% of businesses) added 67 businesses, an increase of 1.2% and Gasoline stations with convenience stores (2.6% of businesses) added 96 businesses, an increase of 3.0% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled667239.9%
Trusts estates and agency accounts1090.9%
All other food manufacturing1083.3%
Carpet and rug mills457.1%
Materials recovery facilities444.4%
Other support activities for transportation440.0%
Broadcast and wireless communications equip.736.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled667239.9%
Restaurants and other eating places2513.2%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1079.7%
Software publishers10327.9%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores963.0%
Temporary help services915.9%
Insurance agencies and brokerages883.7%


Employees by Industry

Wholesale trade agents and brokers (4.4% of employees) added 67 employees, an increase of 1.2% and Gasoline stations with convenience stores (2.6% ofemployees) added 96 employees, an increase of 3.0% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other support activities for transportation92382.3%
Port and harbor operations44172.4%
Political organizations106169.8%
Power boiler and heat exchanger manufacturing255167.1%
Materials recovery facilities43114.1%
Footwear merchant wholesalers45100.1%
Document preparation services15875.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Temporary help services2,2124.3%
Restaurants and other eating places1,9421.3%
Offices of physicians1,2593.2%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing1,1369.5%
Management consulting services8098.6%
Couriers and express delivery services78712.7%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences77512.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Wholesale trade agents and brokers ($4) and Gasoline stations with convenience stores ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Wholesale trade agents and brokers ($4 per week) were paid $67 more per week, an increase of 1.2% and Gasoline stations with convenience stores ($3 per week) were paid $96 more per week, an increase of 3.0% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$1,27162.1%
Motion picture and video production$53262.0%
Office equipment rental and leasing$36859.5%
Navigational services to shipping$72857.8%
Television broadcasting$82457.5%
Amusement arcades$8354.2%
Natural gas extraction$97642.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Coal and other mineral merchant wholesalers$1,27162.1%
Natural gas extraction$97642.9%
Television broadcasting$82457.5%
Credit bureaus$79938.3%
Navigational services to shipping$72857.8%
Internet publishing and web search portals$54637.8%
Motion picture and video production$53262.0%


Company Size

Alabama Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Alabama by far. 56.7% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 117,510 small businesses in the state represent 95.5% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Alabama added 3,717 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 3,572 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% 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 136 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.6% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 9 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 4.6% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Alabama Employees by Business Size

Alabama added 91,154 employees in the last year, an increase of 6.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 29,526 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 33.6% 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 35,867 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 6.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 25,761 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 14.5% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

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 7.0% less than the national average ($939 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Alabama (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 36.8% workers below the national average ($1,398 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $100 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $90 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $22 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 0.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



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.