Virginia Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 284,621 employers, up 3.6% from 274,806
  • 3,878,314 employees, up 1.2% from 3,831,361
  • $1,186 average weekly wage, up 2.1% from $1,162
  • The average weekly wage is 0.2% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 2.0% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 9,815, which is an increase of 3.6%. The number of employees in Virginia increased by 46,953, an increase of 1.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $24, an increase of 2.1%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 9,645 or 3.6%. Growth in private businesses in Virginia grew faster than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 40,714 or 1.3%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Virginia 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 $28 or 2.4%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Virginia grew slower than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 17.1% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 21.9%. Professional services (15.3%), which increased by 4.4% and Other services (10.6%), which decreased by 13.2%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Healthcare8,74321.9%
Information3127.2%
Utilities195.3%
Manufacturing3485.2%
Professional services1,8504.4%
Company management944.2%
Arts and entertainment1203.9%
Transport and warehousing2023.7%
Real estate and rental3443.5%
Waste services4443.1%
Construction4722.2%
Mining and oil extraction62.0%
Agriculture and forestry291.6%
Educational services551.6%
Accommodation and food services2601.5%
Finance and insurance1471.2%
Wholesale trade1331.2%
Retail trade-34-0.1%
Other services-4,567-13.2%


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 2.5% in the last year. Professional services (11.1%), increased by 1.9% and Retail trade (10.3%), decreased by 1.7%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing6,8506.0%
Company management3,7405.0%
Real estate and rental1,9633.7%
Manufacturing6,2862.7%
Construction5,0632.7%
Arts and entertainment1,1932.6%
Healthcare11,1432.5%
Professional services8,1031.9%
Mining and oil extraction731.2%
Waste services2,3391.0%
Finance and insurance1,3601.0%
Accommodation and food services2,3970.7%
Educational services2820.4%
Wholesale trade-267-0.2%
Utilities-73-0.7%
Information-479-0.7%
Retail trade-7,169-1.7%
Other services-4,581-3.2%
Agriculture and forestry-697-5.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $3,066per week compared with the state average of $1,196. Weekly wages in this sector declined by $346 or 10.1%. Utilities ($2,810), rose by $142 or 5.3% and Information ($2,437) increased by $230 or 10.4% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$23010.4%
Mining and oil extraction$986.8%
Other services$475.7%
Utilities$1425.3%
Real estate and rental$544.9%
Agriculture and forestry$314.8%
Construction$474.4%
Retail trade$234.1%
Waste services$334.0%
Accommodation and food services$133.5%
Wholesale trade$543.3%
Professional services$572.7%
Finance and insurance$411.7%
Healthcare$151.6%
Arts and entertainment$71.4%
Educational services$111.3%
Manufacturing$141.2%
Transport and warehousing$-13-1.3%
Company management$-346-10.1%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Virginia. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 9.9% of the businesses in the state (with 28,058 employing 34,269 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 7,857 more businesses, an increase of 38.9% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (5.4% of businesses) added 684 businesses, an increase of 4.7% and Restaurants and other eating places (5.1% of businesses) added 264 businesses, an increase of 1.8% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Battery manufacturing3300.0%
Metal valve manufacturing562.5%
Asphalt paving and roofing materials mfg.960.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts2256.4%
Motion picture and video distribution250.0%
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing940.9%
Flour milling and malt manufacturing240.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled7,85738.9%
Computer systems design and related services6844.7%
Management consulting services4206.0%
Home health care services40837.1%
Restaurants and other eating places2641.8%
Temporary help services24810.8%
All other professional and technical services1848.2%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (5.4% of employees) added 684 employees, an increase of 4.7% and Restaurants and other eating places (5.1% ofemployees) added 264 employees, an increase of 1.8% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Pension funds120412.6%
Asphalt paving and roofing materials mfg.488177.1%
Local messengers and local delivery2,622169.7%
Motor vehicle seating and interior trim mfg.34771.7%
Art dealers11249.6%
Drinking places alcoholic beverages11938.2%
Mobile food services14637.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled4,72216.0%
Management of companies and enterprises3,7405.0%
Ship and boat building3,14012.1%
Local messengers and local delivery2,622169.7%
Management consulting services2,4413.7%
Electrical and wiring contractors2,3539.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals2,1832.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Computer systems design and related services ($5) and Restaurants and other eating places ($5) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Computer systems design and related services ($5 per week) were paid $684 more per week, an increase of 4.7% and Restaurants and other eating places ($5 per week) were paid $264 more per week, an increase of 1.8% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$12,551393.0%
Art dealers$1,892172.6%
Reinsurance carriers$1,75576.8%
Other performing arts companies$76372.3%
Miscellaneous intermediation$95641.1%
Other specialized design services$29237.5%
Other insurance related activities$83537.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$12,551393.0%
Other depository credit intermediation$2,98818.4%
Art dealers$1,892172.6%
Reinsurance carriers$1,75576.8%
Miscellaneous intermediation$95641.1%
Other insurance related activities$83537.4%
Other performing arts companies$76372.3%


Company Size

Virginia Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Virginia by far. 65.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 265,303 small businesses in the state represent 95.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Virginia added 9,645 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 9,546 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.7% 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 95 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 4 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.0% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Virginia Employees by Business Size

Virginia added 122,141 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 26,943 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 11.3% 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 50,176 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 4.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 45,022 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 10.9% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Virginia Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Virginia (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 8.5% more than the national average ($1,098 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Virginia (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 5.6% workers below the national average ($1,811 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $125 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $18 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 0.5% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $129 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.8% 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.