Rhode Island Employment Statistics

  • 38,009 employers
  • 482,020 employees
  • $1,032 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 6.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 22.5% above the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in Rhode Island, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 98.2% of employers run private companies in the state, BIGGER1.1% greater than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 1.8% of employers are government agencies: 0.5% work in a federal agency, 0.3% work for the state and 1.1% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
87.5% of employees work for a private company, this is 2.3% greater than the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 6.8% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 3.4% of the workers and the federal government employs 2.3%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (12.5%) is 2.3% lower than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Rhode Island is $1,032 per week, which is 6.3% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. Rhode Island workers that are employed by private businesses earn $994 per week, 9.6% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Rhode Island earn $1,604 per week, a premium of 61.4% 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 14.2% of the businesses in the state. Healthcare (10.3%) and Retail trade (10.1%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Professional services5,38214.2%
Healthcare3,89810.3%
Retail trade3,83210.1%
Construction3,7479.9%
Other services3,4589.1%
Accommodation and food services3,1398.3%
Wholesale trade2,9887.9%
Waste services2,9647.8%
Finance and insurance1,7214.5%
Manufacturing1,5714.1%
Real estate and rental1,1483.0%
Transport and warehousing7952.1%
Information7141.9%
Educational services6501.7%
Arts and entertainment6081.6%
Company management3090.8%
Agriculture and forestry1790.5%
Unclassified1500.4%
Utilities420.1%
Mining and oil extraction150.0%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 16.6% of the employees in the state. Accommodation and food services (10.3%) and Retail trade (10.1%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare80,04016.6%
Accommodation and food services49,64810.3%
Retail trade48,62210.1%
Manufacturing40,3348.4%
Waste services29,5916.1%
Finance and insurance25,9295.4%
Professional services25,5215.3%
Educational services20,5194.3%
Construction19,2244.0%
Other services17,9913.7%
Wholesale trade16,5143.4%
Company management13,3132.8%
Transport and warehousing10,4952.2%
Arts and entertainment9,5102.0%
Real estate and rental6,3671.3%
Information5,9271.2%
Utilities1,1400.2%
Unclassified670.0%
Mining and oil extraction00.0%
Agriculture and forestry00.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,332per week compared with the state average of $994. Utilities ($2,186) and Finance and insurance ($1,884) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Company management$2,332234.6%
Utilities$2,186219.9%
Finance and insurance$1,884189.5%
Unclassified$1,618162.8%
Professional services$1,499150.8%
Wholesale trade$1,433144.2%
Information$1,430143.9%
Construction$1,184119.1%
Manufacturing$1,124113.1%
Educational services$1,020102.6%
Real estate and rental$91692.2%
Healthcare$91592.1%
Transport and warehousing$81882.3%
Waste services$72472.8%
Other services$64164.5%
Retail trade$61862.2%
Arts and entertainment$59660.0%
Accommodation and food services$40941.1%
Mining and oil extraction$00.0%
Agriculture and forestry$00.0%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Rhode Island. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.4% of the businesses in the state (with 2,424 employing 39,130 workers). Computer systems design and related services (4.1%) and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.5%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places2,42416.1
Computer systems design and related services1,5744.7
Wholesale trade agents and brokers1,3202.0
Residential building construction1,0172.7
Services for the elderly and disabled9363.8
Management consulting services7872.7
Offices of lawyers7804.7
Landscaping services7164.7
Offices of physicians62413.4
Accounting and bookkeeping services5775.2


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 39,130 in 2,424 businesses, there are 16.1 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (3.7%) and Management of companies and enterprises (2.8%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places39,13016.1
General medical and surgical hospitals17,9911,383.9
Management of companies and enterprises13,31343.1
Colleges and universities11,986141.0
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing9,917114.0
Temporary help services9,77318.9
Supermarkets and other grocery stores8,80448.4
Commercial banking8,37339.7
Offices of physicians8,35113.4
Computer systems design and related services7,4394.7


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Portfolio management, paying $9,552 compared with the state average of $994. Cable and other subscription programming ($4,562) and Miscellaneous intermediation ($3,471) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Portfolio management$9,552961.0
Cable and other subscription programming$4,562459.0
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,471349.2
Electric power generation$3,137315.6
Securities brokerage$2,766278.3
Investment advice$2,695271.1
Professional employer organizations$2,622263.8
Software publishers$2,464247.9
Furniture merchant wholesalers$2,391240.5
Management of companies and enterprises$2,332234.6


Company Size

Rhode Island Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Rhode Island by far. 64.8% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 35,526 small businesses in the state represent 96.2% 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.

Rhode Island Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 117.5% of all employees, which is 21.0% 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 89.4% of all workers, which is 2.1% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 525.8% of the labor force in the state, 24.2% less than the national average of 550.0%.

Rhode Island Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Rhode Island (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 7.3% more than the national average ($1,052 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Rhode Island (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 25.0% workers below the national average ($1,506 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.