North Carolina Employment Statistics

  • 277,822 employers
  • 4,409,849 employees
  • $976 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 11.4% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 6.0% below the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in North Carolina, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 97.2% of employers run private companies in the state, BIGGER0.1% greater than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 2.8% of employers are government agencies: 0.5% work in a federal agency, 0.5% work for the state and 1.8% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
84.1% of employees work for a private company. This is 1.1% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 10.1% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 4.1% of the workers and the federal government employs 1.6%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (15.9%) is 1.1% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in North Carolina is $976 per week, which is 11.4% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. North Carolina workers that are employed by private businesses earn $978 per week, 11.1% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in North Carolina earn $1,376 per week, a premium of 40.7% 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 Professional services with 13.8% of the businesses in the state. Retail trade (12.3%) and Construction (9.6%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Professional services38,23513.8%
Retail trade34,09212.3%
Construction26,7009.6%
Healthcare23,6768.5%
Other services23,3898.4%
Accommodation and food services21,6937.8%
Wholesale trade19,9597.2%
Waste services18,7736.8%
Finance and insurance14,9965.4%
Real estate and rental12,7544.6%
Manufacturing10,2123.7%
Transport and warehousing6,9072.5%
Information5,2331.9%
Arts and entertainment4,1571.5%
Educational services3,5081.3%
Agriculture and forestry3,1111.1%
Company management1,7890.6%
Utilities5190.2%
Mining and oil extraction2150.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.5% of the employees in the state. Retail trade (11.3%) and Manufacturing (10.8%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare505,74611.5%
Retail trade499,88811.3%
Manufacturing474,84310.8%
Accommodation and food services430,4089.8%
Waste services296,8236.7%
Professional services254,6005.8%
Construction220,5845.0%
Wholesale trade182,4004.1%
Finance and insurance173,3563.9%
Transport and warehousing133,6953.0%
Other services109,8892.5%
Educational services86,0652.0%
Company management83,8841.9%
Information79,9121.8%
Arts and entertainment72,3861.6%
Real estate and rental59,9761.4%
Agriculture and forestry27,0870.6%
Utilities14,4980.3%
Mining and oil extraction3,1160.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,087per week compared with the state average of $978. Finance and insurance ($1,922) and Utilities ($1,832) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Company management$2,087213.4%
Finance and insurance$1,922196.5%
Utilities$1,832187.3%
Professional services$1,631166.8%
Information$1,614165.0%
Wholesale trade$1,424145.6%
Mining and oil extraction$1,189121.6%
Manufacturing$1,151117.7%
Construction$1,050107.4%
Educational services$978100.0%
Real estate and rental$97799.9%
Transport and warehousing$94796.8%
Healthcare$92394.4%
Waste services$71372.9%
Agriculture and forestry$70171.7%
Other services$67569.0%
Arts and entertainment$60161.5%
Retail trade$55156.3%
Accommodation and food services$34335.1%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In North Carolina. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.2% of the businesses in the state (with 17,352 employing 357,161 workers). Computer systems design and related services (3.3%) and Management consulting services (3.1%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places17,35220.6
Computer systems design and related services9,0636.2
Management consulting services8,7044.7
Private households7,4611.1
Residential building construction7,3393.8
Offices of physicians5,25414.4
Offices of real estate agents and brokers5,1322.6
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4,4944.3
Offices of lawyers4,3625.6
Insurance agencies and brokerages4,2235.6


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 8.1% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 357,161 in 17,352 businesses, there are 20.6 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (2.6%) and Temporary help services (2.3%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places357,16120.6
General medical and surgical hospitals114,908718.2
Temporary help services102,45250.5
Supermarkets and other grocery stores84,37446.9
Management of companies and enterprises83,88446.9
Offices of physicians75,91014.4
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters69,10531.3
Commercial banking57,88923.2
Computer systems design and related services56,2586.2
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing43,74280.4


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Other financial vehicles, paying $4,498 compared with the state average of $978. Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers ($3,765) and Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,704) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Other financial vehicles$4,498459.9
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$3,765385.0
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,704378.7
Portfolio management$3,108317.8
Photographic equip. merchant wholesalers$2,968303.5
Miscellaneous intermediation$2,891295.6
Telephone apparatus manufacturing$2,745280.7
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$2,730279.1
Credit card issuing$2,616267.5
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing$2,590264.8


Company Size

North Carolina Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in North Carolina by far. 59.4% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 258,096 small businesses in the state represent 95.1% 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.

North Carolina Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 125.2% of all employees, which is 13.2% lower 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 88.5% of all workers, which is 3.0% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 597.7% of the labor force in the state, 47.6% more than the national average of 550.0%.

North Carolina Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in North Carolina (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 6.7% more than the national average ($1,045 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in North Carolina (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 3.1% workers below the national average ($1,826 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.