North Carolina Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 282,386 employers, up 0.8% from 280,035
  • 4,437,114 employees, up 2.2% from 4,343,415
  • $1,054 average weekly wage, up 3.2% from $1,021
  • The average weekly wage is 11.0% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 6.0% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 2,351, which is an increase of 0.8%. The number of employees in North Carolina increased by 93,699, an increase of 2.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $33, an increase of 3.2%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 2,421 or 0.9%. Growth in private businesses in North Carolina grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 91,659 or 2.5%. The growth in employees of private businesses in North Carolina 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 $33 or 3.2%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in North Carolina 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 Professional services with 13.9% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 0.7%. Retail trade (12.1%), which decreased by 0.9% and Construction (9.7%), which increased by 1.8%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Utilities10021.8%
Information1883.6%
Real estate and rental4033.2%
Transport and warehousing1912.7%
Educational services782.2%
Construction4841.8%
Healthcare4271.8%
Company management311.7%
Waste services3041.6%
Accommodation and food services3471.6%
Other services3241.4%
Arts and entertainment300.7%
Professional services2720.7%
Finance and insurance-58-0.4%
Agriculture and forestry-26-0.8%
Retail trade-324-0.9%
Wholesale trade-200-1.0%
Manufacturing-144-1.4%
Mining and oil extraction-6-2.8%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.6% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.3% in the last year. Retail trade (11.2%), increased by 0.1% and Manufacturing (10.7%), increased by 1.4%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Construction14,7647.0%
Transport and warehousing8,2806.3%
Finance and insurance8,5835.0%
Professional services10,1634.0%
Other services3,9233.7%
Waste services9,0303.2%
Educational services2,6933.1%
Arts and entertainment1,9233.0%
Wholesale trade5,1072.8%
Real estate and rental1,5732.8%
Company management1,9732.4%
Healthcare11,5132.3%
Accommodation and food services9,3432.2%
Utilities2381.7%
Manufacturing6,3701.4%
Retail trade7240.1%
Mining and oil extraction-57-1.8%
Agriculture and forestry-668-2.5%
Information-3,819-4.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,881per week compared with the state average of $1,068. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $18 or 0.6%. Finance and insurance ($2,666), rose by $57 or 2.2% and Utilities ($2,466) increased by $160 or 6.9% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Mining and oil extraction$1078.7%
Utilities$1606.9%
Other services$365.4%
Construction$545.4%
Professional services$845.4%
Waste services$375.2%
Retail trade$264.7%
Accommodation and food services$144.2%
Information$683.8%
Agriculture and forestry$253.6%
Real estate and rental$353.5%
Arts and entertainment$213.5%
Educational services$293.1%
Healthcare$273.0%
Wholesale trade$372.5%
Finance and insurance$572.2%
Manufacturing$131.1%
Company management$180.6%
Transport and warehousing$-24-2.4%


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 17,586 employing 353,776 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 301 more businesses, an increase of 1.7% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of businesses) had 23 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.2% and Management consulting services (3.2% of businesses) added 61 businesses, an increase of 0.7% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Urban transit systems12133.3%
Advertising material distribution services9988.4%
Electric power transmission and distribution11959.2%
News syndicates1041.7%
Broilers and meat type chicken production1338.2%
Farm product warehousing and storage937.5%
All other information services630.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Offices of real estate agents and brokers3066.0%
Restaurants and other eating places3011.7%
Residential building construction2563.5%
Private households2162.9%
Software publishers20514.2%
General freight trucking long-distance1337.6%
Office administrative services1315.7%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of employees) had 23 fewer employees, a decline of 0.2% and Management consulting services (3.2% ofemployees) added 61 employees, an increase of 0.7% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Fishing30370.8%
Advertising material distribution services15595.2%
Cut and sew apparel contractors16191.0%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.23076.6%
Emergency and other relief services80854.0%
Sea coastal and great lakes transportation6145.9%
Farm product warehousing and storage4643.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Commercial banking6,72411.7%
Restaurants and other eating places5,8461.7%
General medical and surgical hospitals3,3793.0%
General warehousing and storage3,26112.6%
Temporary help services3,2083.3%
Computer systems design and related services2,8025.1%
Plumbing and hvac contractors2,5706.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Computer systems design and related services ($3) and Management consulting services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Computer systems design and related services ($3 per week) were paid $23 less per week, a decline of 0.2% and Management consulting services ($3 per week) were paid $61 more per week, an increase of 0.7% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Document preparation services$45955.1%
Luggage and leather goods stores$16846.4%
Motion picture and video production$43046.0%
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing$1,06442.6%
Sales financing$82740.6%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$94532.7%
Other electrical equipment and component mfg.$37428.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing$1,06442.6%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$94532.7%
Sales financing$82740.6%
Electric power generation$72225.3%
Pesticide and other ag. chemical mfg.$52918.5%
All other financial investment activities$49524.5%
Document preparation services$45955.1%


Company Size

North Carolina Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in North Carolina by far. 59.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 261,054 small businesses in the state represent 95.1% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) North Carolina added 2,421 businesses in the last year, an increase of 0.9% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 2,193 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.8% 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 215 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 13 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.6% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



North Carolina Employees by Business Size

North Carolina added 274,976 employees in the last year, an increase of 8.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 95,672 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 57.8% 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 97,396 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 7.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 81,908 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 15.5% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

North Carolina Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in North Carolina (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 4.6% more than the national average ($1,054 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in North Carolina (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 5.3% workers below the national average ($1,817 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $94 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.7% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $89 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $104 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% 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.