Massachusetts Employment Statistics

  • 258,393 employers
  • 3,581,813 employees
  • $1,397 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 26.9% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 33.8% above the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in Massachusetts, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 97.1% of employers run private companies in the state, BIGGER0.1% greater than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 2.9% of employers are government agencies: 0.4% work in a federal agency, 0.9% work for the state and 1.7% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
88.0% of employees work for a private company, this is 2.8% greater than the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 7.5% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 3.2% of the workers and the federal government employs 1.3%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (12.0%) is 2.8% lower than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Massachusetts is $1,397 per week, which is 26.9% less than the national average of $1,101 per week. Massachusetts workers that are employed by private businesses earn $1,412 per week, 28.4% greater than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Massachusetts earn $1,598 per week, a premium of 13.2% 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 Healthcare with 24.2% of the businesses in the state. Professional services (12.9%) and Retail trade (9.1%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Healthcare62,45924.2%
Professional services33,31712.9%
Retail trade23,5459.1%
Other services21,8488.5%
Construction21,2898.2%
Accommodation and food services16,9326.6%
Wholesale trade14,1995.5%
Waste services12,8455.0%
Finance and insurance10,3394.0%
Real estate and rental7,2282.8%
Manufacturing6,7102.6%
Information5,4062.1%
Transport and warehousing4,2671.7%
Educational services3,9171.5%
Arts and entertainment3,7631.5%
Company management1,4880.6%
Agriculture and forestry9010.3%
Utilities3210.1%
Mining and oil extraction880.0%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.5% of the employees in the state. Retail trade (9.9%) and Professional services (9.1%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare626,83417.5%
Retail trade353,8039.9%
Professional services327,0529.1%
Accommodation and food services312,3778.7%
Manufacturing244,9006.8%
Waste services184,3485.1%
Finance and insurance169,5704.7%
Construction158,4204.4%
Educational services146,3074.1%
Wholesale trade124,3893.5%
Other services119,7363.3%
Information91,7012.6%
Transport and warehousing87,8382.5%
Company management74,1112.1%
Arts and entertainment63,0101.8%
Real estate and rental47,4061.3%
Utilities10,9400.3%
Agriculture and forestry8,6210.2%
Mining and oil extraction9840.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Finance and insurance paying $3,130per week compared with the state average of $1,412. Professional services ($2,599) and Company management ($2,595) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Finance and insurance$3,130221.7%
Professional services$2,599184.1%
Company management$2,595183.8%
Utilities$2,523178.7%
Information$2,367167.6%
Wholesale trade$1,898134.4%
Manufacturing$1,703120.6%
Real estate and rental$1,534108.6%
Construction$1,516107.4%
Educational services$1,33194.3%
Mining and oil extraction$1,32994.1%
Agriculture and forestry$1,16282.3%
Healthcare$1,07676.2%
Transport and warehousing$98269.5%
Waste services$94967.2%
Arts and entertainment$78655.7%
Other services$74252.5%
Retail trade$67147.5%
Accommodation and food services$48334.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Massachusetts. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 17.4% of the businesses in the state (with 44,896 employing 67,873 workers). Restaurants and other eating places (5.3%) and Computer systems design and related services (3.2%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Services for the elderly and disabled44,8961.5
Restaurants and other eating places13,72717.9
Computer systems design and related services8,33310.0
Private households6,0121.1
Residential building construction4,8213.4
Management consulting services4,7108.1
Offices of lawyers4,5136.2
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4,4293.3
Landscaping services3,8665.7
Hair nail and skin care services3,4545.9


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.9% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 246,272 in 13,727 businesses, there are 17.9 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (4.6%) and Colleges and universities (2.6%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places246,27217.9
General medical and surgical hospitals164,978993.8
Colleges and universities94,912330.7
Computer systems design and related services83,41010.0
Supermarkets and other grocery stores77,92677.2
Management of companies and enterprises74,11149.8
Services for the elderly and disabled67,8731.5
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences65,68030.9
Offices of physicians57,21618.0
Temporary help services55,18435.8


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Trusts estates and agency accounts, paying $82,977 compared with the state average of $1,412. Portfolio management ($7,434) and Investment banking and securities dealing ($6,794) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Trusts estates and agency accounts$82,9775,876.6
Portfolio management$7,434526.5
Investment banking and securities dealing$6,794481.2
Spectator sports$6,030427.1
Miscellaneous intermediation$5,657400.6
Securities brokerage$5,498389.4
Open-end investment funds$5,384381.3
Investment advice$4,144293.5
Reinsurance carriers$3,913277.1
Securities and commodity exchanges$3,617256.2


Company Size

Massachusetts Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Massachusetts by far. 65.8% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 239,060 small businesses in the state represent 95.8% 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.

Massachusetts Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 165.2% of all employees, which is 26.7% higher 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 91.4% of all workers, which is 0.1% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 511.8% of the labor force in the state, 38.2% less than the national average of 550.0%.

Massachusetts Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Massachusetts (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 9.6% more than the national average ($1,079 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Massachusetts (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 13.0% workers above the national average ($2,162 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.