Washington Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 24,550 more businesses
  • 538,715 more employees
  • 19.0% increase in total wages
  • $18,683 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 39.4% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in Washington has grown by 10.9% (0.5% less than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in Washington has grown by 19.0% (5.4% greater than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 39.3% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 13.6% greater than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in Washington of $1,272 is 13.4% above the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 4.1% a widening of 9.4% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most businesses in the state of Washington. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 16,139 to 57,594, a gain of 256.9%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare57,59416,139256.9%
Professional services26,64518,86941.2%
Construction25,97323,53010.4%
Retail trade20,14119,9630.9%
Other services19,84455,802-64.4%
Accommodation and food services17,43715,29514.0%
Wholesale trade13,85814,012-1.1%
Waste services12,7849,92128.9%
Finance and insurance9,0819,282-2.2%
Real estate and rental8,4828,0525.3%
Manufacturing7,7947,3256.4%
Agriculture and forestry7,1557,507-4.7%
Transport and warehousing4,9844,43212.5%
Information4,6163,28340.6%
Educational services3,3992,35444.4%
Arts and entertainment2,9862,55017.1%
Company management7146765.6%
Utilities307309-0.6%
Mining and oil extraction156184-15.2%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Healthcare sector, which has increased by 256.9% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Other services sector, which has declined by 64.4% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most employees in the state of Washington. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 319,447 to 421,669, a gain of 32.0%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare421,669319,44732.0%
Retail trade379,661304,28824.8%
Manufacturing284,156262,5028.2%
Accommodation and food services283,229220,34128.5%
Professional services201,623155,75929.4%
Construction200,149148,75934.5%
Waste services168,684128,34331.4%
Wholesale trade133,653120,21111.2%
Information133,175103,08029.2%
Agriculture and forestry107,32989,65719.7%
Transport and warehousing103,34380,45128.5%
Other services99,128121,511-18.4%
Finance and insurance94,49092,7071.9%
Real estate and rental53,39946,35915.2%
Arts and entertainment53,00445,32916.9%
Company management44,59332,14738.7%
Educational services44,10133,12733.1%
Utilities5,0375,0370.0%
Mining and oil extraction2,5782,29812.2%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Healthcare sector, which has increased by 32.0% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Other services sector, which has declined by 18.4% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Information sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Washington. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $2,033 to $3,745, a gain of 84.2%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Information$3,745$2,0330.0%
Company management$2,268$1,6860.0%
Professional services$1,949$1,3810.0%
Utilities$1,917$1,6230.0%
Finance and insurance$1,826$1,3710.0%
Wholesale trade$1,546$1,1840.0%
Manufacturing$1,526$1,2100.0%
Mining and oil extraction$1,365$1,0190.0%
Construction$1,240$9820.0%
Transport and warehousing$1,163$8950.0%
Retail trade$1,132$5650.0%
Real estate and rental$1,061$7070.0%
Healthcare$1,013$8380.0%
Waste services$969$7610.0%
Other services$777$4780.0%
Educational services$750$6640.0%
Arts and entertainment$624$4910.0%
Agriculture and forestry$622$4550.0%
Accommodation and food services$462$3280.0%

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 Educational services sector, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Services for the elderly and disabled industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of Washington. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 514 to 40,149, a gain of 7,711.1%. The table below illustrates the change in the number of businesses in the top industries.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Services for the elderly and disabled40,1495140.0%
Computer systems design and related services8,1043,8730.0%
Residential building construction7,8436,5250.0%
Private households6,44643,8800.0%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4,5215,8660.0%
Management consulting services3,7721,7800.0%

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 0.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Private households industry, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of Washington. This industry currently has 223,338 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 hospitals85,16470,8800.0%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing83,87682,9200.0%
Software publishers65,21251,3050.0%
Services for the elderly and disabled62,83518,0790.0%
Computer systems design and related services56,76331,4430.0%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores55,35550,7280.0%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Services for the elderly and disabled industry, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the Aerospace product and parts manufacturing industry, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Investment banking and securities dealing industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Washington. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $2,932 to $5,362, a gain of 82.9%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Investment banking and securities dealing$5,362$2,9320.0%
Open-end investment funds$4,978$2,6340.0%
Software publishers$4,792$2,8170.0%
Internet publishing and web search portals$4,464$1,6860.0%
Commodity contracts brokerage$4,248$3,4400.0%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses$4,223$1,6590.0%
Unclassified$3,620$6980.0%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Unclassified industry, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Commodity contracts brokerage industry, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 72 to 119, which is an increase of 65.3%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 150,028 to 153,834, which is an increase of 2.5%.

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

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees153,834150,0282.5%
5-9 Employees32,94431,1525.8%
10-19 Employees22,36820,01311.8%
20-49 Employees16,08912,96324.1%
50-99 Employees5,2674,19725.5%
100-249 Employees2,8742,34322.7%
250-499 Employees69852632.7%
500-999 Employees18914035.0%
More Than 1,000 Employees1197265.3%


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 232,012 to 362,478, which is an increase of 56.2%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 222,446 to 228,184, which is an increase of 2.6%.

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

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees228,184222,4462.6%
5-9 Employees215,282202,5516.3%
10-19 Employees299,098265,79412.5%
20-49 Employees477,017384,98923.9%
50-99 Employees359,557285,66725.9%
100-249 Employees425,262342,72824.1%
250-499 Employees232,826179,26329.9%
500-999 Employees127,03894,22734.8%
More Than 1,000 Employees362,478232,01256.2%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $1,645 to $2,909, which is an increase of 76.8%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 20 to 49 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $749 to $952, which is an increase of 27.1%.

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

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$823$59338.8%
5-9 Employees$840$63332.7%
10-19 Employees$889$69028.8%
20-49 Employees$952$74927.1%
50-99 Employees$1,123$82336.5%
100-249 Employees$1,164$88731.2%
250-499 Employees$1,463$1,09234.0%
500-999 Employees$1,931$1,20560.2%
More Than 1,000 Employees$2,909$1,64576.8%



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.