Rhode Island Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 2,673 more businesses
  • 33,178 more employees
  • 7.4% increase in total wages
  • $10,247 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 23.6% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in Rhode Island has grown by 7.6% (3.9% less than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in Rhode Island has grown by 7.4% (6.2% less than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 23.6% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 2.1% less than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in Rhode Island of $1,032 is 6.7% below the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 4.9% a widening of 1.8% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Professional services sector has the most businesses in the state of Rhode Island. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 4,145 to 5,382, a gain of 29.8%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Professional services5,3824,14529.8%
Healthcare3,8983,05327.7%
Retail trade3,8323,867-0.9%
Construction3,7474,006-6.5%
Other services3,4583,639-5.0%
Accommodation and food services3,1392,81511.5%
Wholesale trade2,9883,024-1.2%
Waste services2,9642,38224.4%
Finance and insurance1,7211,6434.7%
Manufacturing1,5711,871-16.0%
Real estate and rental1,1481,1380.9%
Transport and warehousing79572310.0%
Information714758-5.8%
Educational services65052523.8%
Arts and entertainment6085726.3%
Company management30923730.4%
Agriculture and forestry1791686.5%
Utilities423231.3%
Mining and oil extraction1519-21.1%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Professional services sector, which has increased by 29.8% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Manufacturing sector, which has declined by 16.0% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most employees in the state of Rhode Island. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 76,949 to 80,040, a gain of 4.0%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare80,04076,9494.0%
Accommodation and food services49,64841,33420.1%
Retail trade48,62247,0573.3%
Manufacturing40,33441,752-3.4%
Waste services29,59122,19333.3%
Finance and insurance25,92923,6299.7%
Professional services25,52121,12220.8%
Educational services20,51919,0857.5%
Construction19,22417,18411.9%
Other services17,99117,7811.2%
Wholesale trade16,51416,0992.6%
Company management13,3139,20944.6%
Transport and warehousing10,4959,00016.6%
Arts and entertainment9,5107,63224.6%
Real estate and rental6,3675,9796.5%
Information5,92710,131-41.5%
Utilities1,1401,1191.9%
Mining and oil extraction0194-100.0%
Agriculture and forestry0729-100.0%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Accommodation and food services sector, which has increased by 20.1% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Information sector, which has declined by 41.5% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Company management sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Rhode Island. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,777 to $2,332, a gain of 31.2%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Company management$2,332$1,77731.2%
Utilities$2,186$1,57938.4%
Finance and insurance$1,884$1,30744.1%
Professional services$1,499$1,19026.0%
Wholesale trade$1,433$1,15524.1%
Information$1,430$1,15124.2%
Construction$1,184$1,00417.9%
Manufacturing$1,124$90823.8%
Educational services$1,020$85319.6%
Real estate and rental$916$69631.6%
Healthcare$915$78217.0%
Transport and warehousing$818$67521.2%
Waste services$724$57126.8%
Other services$641$50826.2%
Retail trade$618$50721.9%
Arts and entertainment$596$44932.7%
Accommodation and food services$409$30633.7%
Mining and oil extraction$0$910-100.0%
Agriculture and forestry$0$483-100.0%

The sector that has had the strongest wage growth is the Unclassified sector, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The sector that has has the smallest wage growth is the Mining and oil extraction sector, which has declined by 100.0% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of Rhode Island. This industry currently has 2,424 businesses in it. There is no direct comparison to the total at the end of recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Computer systems design and related services1,57487180.7%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers1,3201,628-18.9%
Residential building construction1,0171,034-1.6%
Services for the elderly and disabled936531,666.0%
Management consulting services78751752.2%
Offices of lawyers780799-2.4%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of businesses is the Services for the elderly and disabled industry, which has increased by 1,666.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Wholesale trade agents and brokers industry, which has declined by 18.9% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of Rhode Island. This industry currently has 39,130 employees in it. There is no direct comparison back to the total at the end of the recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
General medical and surgical hospitals17,99118,385-2.1%
Management of companies and enterprises13,3139,20944.6%
Colleges and universities11,98612,016-0.2%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing9,91710,244-3.2%
Temporary help services9,7736,68746.1%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores8,8048,990-2.1%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Management of companies and enterprises industry, which has increased by 44.6% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the General medical and surgical hospitals industry, which has declined by 2.1% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Portfolio management industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Rhode Island. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $6,407 to $9,552, a gain of 49.1%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Portfolio management$9,552$6,40749.1%
Electric power generation$3,137$1,73381.0%
Securities brokerage$2,766$1,95241.7%
Investment advice$2,695$1,97236.7%
Professional employer organizations$2,622$1,35893.1%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Portfolio management industry, which has increased by 49.1% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Investment advice industry, which has declined by 36.7% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 250 to 499 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 67 to 79, which is an increase of 17.9%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 5,178 to 5,352, which is an increase of 3.4%.

Table: Change in the number of Businesses by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees23,92522,0618.4%
5-9 Employees5,3525,1783.4%
10-19 Employees3,6653,3778.5%
20-49 Employees2,5842,3788.7%
50-99 Employees81273210.9%
100-249 Employees4504207.1%
250-499 Employees796717.9%
500-999 Employees30287.1%
More Than 1,000 Employees211816.7%


Employment Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of employees in companies this size has grown from 37,931 to 43,372, which is an increase of 14.3%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 20,970 to 21,164, which is an increase of 0.9%.

Table: Change in the number of Employees by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees32,98930,8776.8%
5-9 Employees34,96433,9343.0%
10-19 Employees48,91145,2168.2%
20-49 Employees77,24670,5899.4%
50-99 Employees55,56049,78611.6%
100-249 Employees67,22861,6839.0%
250-499 Employees25,72922,63913.6%
500-999 Employees21,16420,9700.9%
More Than 1,000 Employees43,37237,93114.3%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $1,341 to $1,912, which is an increase of 42.6%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 250 to 499 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $1,034 to $1,251, which is an increase of 21.0%.

Table: Change Average Weekly Wage by Size Since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$1,052$79432.5%
5-9 Employees$838$64629.7%
10-19 Employees$821$64128.1%
20-49 Employees$828$66025.5%
50-99 Employees$1,030$72741.7%
100-249 Employees$1,033$75636.6%
250-499 Employees$1,251$1,03421.0%
500-999 Employees$1,912$1,34142.6%
More Than 1,000 Employees$1,506$1,15630.3%



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.