Montana Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 48,692 employers, up 0.3% from 48,550
  • 457,646 employees, up 1.2% from 452,325
  • $844 average weekly wage, up 3.1% from $819
  • The average weekly wage is 28.7% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 4.0% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 142, which is an increase of 0.3%. The number of employees in Montana increased by 5,321, an increase of 1.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $25, an increase of 3.1%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 134 or 0.3%. Growth in private businesses in Montana grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 5,246 or 1.4%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Montana 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 $30 or 3.8%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Montana 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 Construction with 12.7% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 0.5%. Professional services (12.1%), which increased by 2.0% and Retail trade (9.3%), which decreased by 2.2%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Healthcare1935.0%
Agriculture and forestry272.3%
Real estate and rental462.3%
Professional services1172.0%
Utilities41.8%
Waste services180.6%
Manufacturing10.1%
Information10.1%
Accommodation and food services00.0%
Construction-31-0.5%
Wholesale trade-24-0.9%
Arts and entertainment-13-0.9%
Transport and warehousing-17-1.1%
Educational services-7-1.1%
Company management-3-1.3%
Finance and insurance-34-1.6%
Mining and oil extraction-10-1.9%
Other services-81-2.0%
Retail trade-102-2.2%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 15.1% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.7% in the last year. Retail trade (12.5%), decreased by 1.5% and Accommodation and food services (11.3%), increased by 2.0%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Construction1,4295.8%
Finance and insurance8275.5%
Agriculture and forestry2334.6%
Real estate and rental2113.8%
Transport and warehousing4483.7%
Manufacturing6343.2%
Mining and oil extraction1332.1%
Accommodation and food services1,0042.0%
Waste services2781.7%
Professional services3171.4%
Arts and entertainment1421.2%
Company management231.1%
Other services1891.1%
Healthcare5120.7%
Educational services-3-0.1%
Wholesale trade-82-0.5%
Utilities-18-0.7%
Retail trade-870-1.5%
Information-228-3.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,197per week compared with the state average of $828. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $239 or 12.2%. Mining and oil extraction ($1,894), rose by $43 or 2.3% and Company management ($1,804) increased by $196 or 12.2% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$23912.2%
Company management$19612.2%
Construction$616.6%
Real estate and rental$375.6%
Professional services$585.2%
Other services$274.8%
Accommodation and food services$154.4%
Healthcare$353.9%
Retail trade$213.8%
Waste services$253.8%
Information$312.9%
Finance and insurance$342.4%
Transport and warehousing$192.3%
Mining and oil extraction$432.3%
Wholesale trade$181.6%
Manufacturing$121.2%
Educational services$-4-0.7%
Agriculture and forestry$-28-3.7%
Arts and entertainment$-32-7.3%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Montana. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 4.3% of the businesses in the state (with 2,083 employing 34,177 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 2 more businesses, an increase of 0.1% in the last year. Residential building construction (3.7% of businesses) added 28 businesses, an increase of 1.6% and Computer systems design and related services (2.3% of businesses) added 54 businesses, an increase of 5.1% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Petrochemical manufacturing2200.0%
Reinsurance carriers2100.0%
Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers2100.0%
Services for the elderly and disabled15488.0%
Noncitrus fruit and tree nut farming375.0%
Casinos except casino hotels266.7%
Media buying agencies266.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled15488.0%
Management consulting services566.4%
Computer systems design and related services545.1%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers445.6%
Temporary help services3810.6%
Residential building construction281.6%
Social advocacy organizations267.9%


Employees by Industry

Residential building construction (3.7% of employees) added 28 employees, an increase of 1.6% and Computer systems design and related services (2.3% ofemployees) added 54 employees, an increase of 5.1% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Food crops grown under cover153215.4%
Marketing research and public opinion polling55194.5%
Marinas5111.1%
Mobile food services32101.6%
Tour operators2181.7%
Oil and gas pipeline construction33173.6%
Mining and oil and gas field machinery mfg.366.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Commercial banking68513.6%
Restaurants and other eating places6201.9%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing3387.4%
Oil and gas pipeline construction33173.6%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores3163.3%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels2772.5%
Other heavy construction24444.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Residential building construction ($4) and Computer systems design and related services ($2) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Residential building construction ($4 per week) were paid $28 more per week, an increase of 1.6% and Computer systems design and related services ($2 per week) were paid $54 more per week, an increase of 5.1% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Tour operators$767134.6%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$1,554128.9%
Mining and oil and gas field machinery mfg.$35467.2%
Other heavy construction$77961.8%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$86361.7%
Toy and hobby goods merchant wholesalers$20255.8%
Meat and meat product merchant wholesalers$25943.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Financial transaction processing and clearing$1,554128.9%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$86361.7%
Other heavy construction$77961.8%
Tour operators$767134.6%
All other professional and technical services$35935.5%
Office equipment merchant wholesalers$35537.8%
Mining and oil and gas field machinery mfg.$35467.2%


Company Size

Montana Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Montana by far. 65.6% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 45,362 small businesses in the state represent 97.6% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Montana added 134 businesses in the last year, an increase of 0.3% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 126 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.3% 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 7 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 1 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 7.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Montana Employees by Business Size

Montana added 13,446 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 9,345 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 25.9% 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 4,101 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 3.7% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 0 employees in the last year, which is an increase of nan% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Montana Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Montana workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Montana (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 17.3% less than the national average ($857 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Montana (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 0.0% workers below the national average ($0 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $106 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $97 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.5% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $0 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of nan% 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.