Massachusetts Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 262,955 employers, up 3.0% from 255,223
  • 3,544,482 employees, up 1.1% from 3,504,161
  • $1,561 average weekly wage, up 3.4% from $1,509
  • The average weekly wage is 31.8% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 33.8% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 7,732, which is an increase of 3.0%. The number of employees in Massachusetts increased by 40,321, an increase of 1.1%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $52, an increase of 3.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 7,631 or 3.1%. Growth in private businesses in Massachusetts grew faster than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 37,952 or 1.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Massachusetts was slower 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 $55 or 3.5%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Massachusetts 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 25.0% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 8.0%. Professional services (12.8%), which increased by 2.4% and Retail trade (8.9%), which decreased by 1.0%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Mining and oil extraction1011.5%
Healthcare4,8838.0%
Information3276.2%
Real estate and rental3354.7%
Educational services992.6%
Professional services7822.4%
Transport and warehousing992.3%
Waste services2782.2%
Construction4582.2%
Company management302.0%
Utilities61.9%
Finance and insurance1681.6%
Other services3001.4%
Accommodation and food services2231.3%
Arts and entertainment350.9%
Agriculture and forestry70.8%
Manufacturing-49-0.7%
Wholesale trade-122-0.9%
Retail trade-238-1.0%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.9% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.7% in the last year. Retail trade (9.8%), decreased by 0.4% and Professional services (9.5%), increased by 4.9%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry75011.5%
Professional services15,8684.9%
Construction5,4743.8%
Real estate and rental1,3703.0%
Transport and warehousing1,8342.1%
Healthcare10,7331.7%
Educational services2,1721.5%
Company management1,0501.4%
Waste services1,5740.9%
Accommodation and food services1,4820.5%
Other services5810.5%
Finance and insurance3780.2%
Manufacturing-160-0.1%
Retail trade-1,425-0.4%
Wholesale trade-1,530-1.2%
Arts and entertainment-668-1.2%
Information-1,265-1.4%
Utilities-223-1.9%
Mining and oil extraction-44-4.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Finance and insurance paying $4,453per week compared with the state average of $1,606. Weekly wages in this sector declined by $122 or 2.7%. Company management ($3,076), declined by $98 or 3.1% and Professional services ($2,983) increased by $175 or 6.2% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Waste services$16417.4%
Agriculture and forestry$18011.4%
Mining and oil extraction$1008.2%
Real estate and rental$1177.1%
Information$1696.8%
Accommodation and food services$316.7%
Professional services$1756.2%
Retail trade$385.8%
Construction$795.4%
Wholesale trade$1045.1%
Other services$365.0%
Transport and warehousing$373.8%
Arts and entertainment$263.5%
Healthcare$252.4%
Educational services$211.6%
Utilities$240.8%
Manufacturing$130.7%
Finance and insurance$-122-2.7%
Company management$-98-3.1%


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 18.3% of the businesses in the state (with 47,992 employing 71,632 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 4,664 more businesses, an increase of 10.8% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.3% of businesses) added 213 businesses, an increase of 1.6% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% of businesses) added 233 businesses, an increase of 2.8% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Pension funds4100.0%
Food crops grown under cover1076.9%
Toilet preparation manufacturing233.3%
Motion picture and video distribution225.0%
Music publishers225.0%
Other cut and sew apparel manufacturing225.0%
Vocational rehabilitation services5120.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled4,66410.8%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences23611.6%
Computer systems design and related services2332.8%
Restaurants and other eating places2131.6%
Software publishers18114.7%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1507.7%
Landscaping services1273.4%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.3% of employees) added 213 employees, an increase of 1.6% and Computer systems design and related services (3.2% ofemployees) added 233 employees, an increase of 2.8% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Food crops grown under cover851647.2%
Pension funds6125.0%
Promoters without facilities19766.5%
Paint and coating manufacturing26847.6%
Hog and pig farming1040.3%
Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy mfg.933.9%
Office administrative services1,81632.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences9,51715.1%
Services for the elderly and disabled4,3866.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals3,5412.2%
Management consulting services3,1138.3%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses2,33323.7%
Office administrative services1,81632.3%
Software publishers1,7865.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places ($5) and Computer systems design and related services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Restaurants and other eating places ($5 per week) were paid $213 more per week, an increase of 1.6% and Computer systems design and related services ($3 per week) were paid $233 more per week, an increase of 2.8% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing$2,791142.6%
Health and welfare funds$1,455136.0%
Office administrative services$2,064104.4%
Commodity contracts dealing$1,27475.9%
New motor vehicle parts merchant wholesalers$59160.9%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$72556.7%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.$1,18748.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing$2,791142.6%
Office administrative services$2,064104.4%
Health and welfare funds$1,455136.0%
All other financial investment activities$1,34830.9%
Commodity contracts dealing$1,27475.9%
Securities and commodity exchanges$1,20830.6%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.$1,18748.9%


Company Size

Massachusetts Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Massachusetts by far. 66.6% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 244,752 small businesses in the state represent 95.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Massachusetts added 7,631 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 7,562 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% 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 61 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.6% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 8 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Massachusetts Employees by Business Size

Massachusetts added 113,856 employees in the last year, an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 30,269 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 14.1% 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 27,776 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 55,811 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.8% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Massachusetts Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Massachusetts (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 10.1% more than the national average ($1,118 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Massachusetts (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 13.9% workers above the national average ($2,221 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $178 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 $286 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 5.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $-42 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of -0.9% 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.