California Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 1,586,424 employers, up 3.7% from 1,530,000
  • 17,376,553 employees, up 1.7% from 17,083,185
  • $1,401 average weekly wage, up 3.8% from $1,350
  • The average weekly wage is 18.3% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 38.7% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 56,424, which is an increase of 3.7%. The number of employees in California increased by 293,368, an increase of 1.7%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $51, an increase of 3.8%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 56,297 or 3.8%. Growth in private businesses in California grew faster than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 273,173 or 1.9%. The growth in employees of private businesses in California 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 $57 or 4.2%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in California grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 38.9% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.6%. Professional services (9.7%), which increased by 7.6% and Retail trade (6.7%), which increased by 2.7%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information2,82011.4%
Arts and entertainment2,57310.7%
Transport and warehousing2,43910.2%
Construction5,9417.7%
Professional services10,8697.6%
Educational services1,1037.6%
Real estate and rental3,8787.3%
Other services5,8786.5%
Waste services2,9525.8%
Accommodation and food services4,0724.8%
Mining and oil extraction324.2%
Wholesale trade2,3413.8%
Healthcare21,3663.6%
Finance and insurance1,7673.5%
Agriculture and forestry4652.8%
Retail trade2,8132.7%
Manufacturing1,1442.6%
Utilities292.3%
Company management841.8%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 13.6% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 3.3% in the last year. Accommodation and food services (9.6%), increased by 2.3% and Retail trade (9.5%), decreased by 1.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing36,5136.3%
Arts and entertainment14,4184.8%
Professional services51,8034.1%
Information21,2814.0%
Healthcare75,7643.3%
Educational services10,0993.1%
Construction24,7763.0%
Real estate and rental8,4512.9%
Mining and oil extraction5052.5%
Accommodation and food services38,3612.3%
Company management4,3681.7%
Other services8,8811.7%
Waste services12,9571.2%
Manufacturing14,8211.2%
Agriculture and forestry2,1240.7%
Wholesale trade-1,320-0.2%
Utilities-345-0.6%
Finance and insurance-5,833-1.0%
Retail trade-19,241-1.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Information paying $3,847per week compared with the state average of $1,405. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $63 or 1.7%. Company management ($3,066), declined by $54 or 1.7% and Finance and insurance ($3,062) increased by $133 or 4.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Transport and warehousing$19417.1%
Professional services$1566.6%
Accommodation and food services$296.2%
Real estate and rental$856.1%
Waste services$455.2%
Arts and entertainment$445.0%
Finance and insurance$1334.5%
Other services$324.2%
Wholesale trade$593.8%
Mining and oil extraction$853.4%
Retail trade$213.0%
Healthcare$282.9%
Construction$372.8%
Manufacturing$392.1%
Educational services$202.0%
Information$631.7%
Agriculture and forestry$91.4%
Company management$-54-1.7%
Utilities$-71-2.4%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In California. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 32.0% of the businesses in the state (with 507,104 employing 602,502 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 16,926 more businesses, an increase of 3.5% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (4.6% of businesses) added 3,313 businesses, an increase of 4.7% and Offices of physicians (2.1% of businesses) added 845 businesses, an increase of 2.6% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Open-end investment funds1555.6%
All other pipeline transportation250.0%
Soybean farming150.0%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.4941.9%
Other financial vehicles11141.4%
Leather and hide tanning and finishing733.3%
All other professional and technical services58828.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled16,9263.5%
Management consulting services3,61616.8%
Restaurants and other eating places3,3134.7%
Computer systems design and related services3,07011.6%
Residential building construction2,62812.5%
Private households2,5629.9%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers2,15313.0%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (4.6% of employees) added 3,313 employees, an increase of 4.7% and Offices of physicians (2.1% ofemployees) added 845 employees, an increase of 2.6% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Artificial fibers and filaments manufacturing124106.7%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.61872.8%
Other traveler accommodation2,33469.3%
All other pipeline transportation648.5%
Motor vehicle electric equipment mfg.64447.5%
Railroad rolling stock manufacturing54646.6%
Leather and hide tanning and finishing4541.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled26,4904.6%
Restaurants and other eating places24,3451.9%
Computer systems design and related services21,4956.8%
Commercial banking15,53115.5%
Software publishers14,41518.2%
General warehousing and storage12,5639.9%
Other outpatient care centers9,3095.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places ($5) and Offices of physicians ($2) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Restaurants and other eating places ($5 per week) were paid $3,313 more per week, an increase of 4.7% and Offices of physicians ($2 per week) were paid $845 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
Other traveler accommodation$2,000373.1%
Rail transportation$586163.7%
Other telecommunications$1,54955.0%
Other financial vehicles$1,72948.2%
Gold ore and silver ore mining$69241.5%
Timber tract operations$21038.6%
Political organizations$43835.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other traveler accommodation$2,000373.1%
Other financial vehicles$1,72948.2%
Other telecommunications$1,54955.0%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$1,25424.0%
Open-end investment funds$98134.8%
Audio and video equipment manufacturing$69528.2%
Gold ore and silver ore mining$69241.5%


Company Size

California Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in California by far. 72.7% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 1,500,070 small businesses in the state represent 96.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) California added 56,297 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 55,638 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.9% 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 602 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 57 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



California Employees by Business Size

California added 819,518 employees in the last year, an increase of 5.8% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 313,642 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 26.4% 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 276,420 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.2% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 229,456 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.8% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

California Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in California (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 17.7% less than the national average ($854 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in California (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 24.5% workers above the national average ($2,534 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $130 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.4% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $304 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 7.2% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $90 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 2.0% 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.