Washington Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 250,436 employers, up 1.7% from 246,340
  • 3,346,664 employees, up 1.9% from 3,285,412
  • $1,368 average weekly wage, up 4.9% from $1,304
  • The average weekly wage is 15.5% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 9.5% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 4,096, which is an increase of 1.7%. The number of employees in Washington increased by 61,252, an increase of 1.9%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $64, an increase of 4.9%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 4,112 or 1.7%. Growth in private businesses in Washington grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 56,395 or 2.1%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Washington 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 $62 or 4.7%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Washington 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 Healthcare with 23.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 5.3%. Professional services (10.7%), which increased by 1.9% and Construction (10.4%), which increased by 1.8%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information3177.0%
Healthcare3,0175.3%
Company management233.2%
Utilities72.3%
Professional services4991.9%
Construction4691.8%
Educational services561.7%
Finance and insurance1311.5%
Arts and entertainment431.5%
Waste services1541.2%
Accommodation and food services1651.0%
Transport and warehousing400.8%
Real estate and rental610.7%
Manufacturing270.3%
Other services-40.0%
Wholesale trade-227-1.6%
Retail trade-431-2.1%
Agriculture and forestry-210-2.9%
Mining and oil extraction-7-4.5%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 12.8% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.7% in the last year. Retail trade (11.2%), increased by 0.5% and Manufacturing (8.6%), increased by 3.3%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Information10,3278.0%
Utilities2625.4%
Other services3,5053.6%
Construction6,7183.6%
Real estate and rental1,8523.6%
Professional services6,8783.5%
Manufacturing9,0603.3%
Healthcare11,2872.7%
Accommodation and food services7,2992.7%
Educational services9672.1%
Arts and entertainment7401.5%
Company management4801.1%
Wholesale trade1,2050.9%
Waste services9960.6%
Retail trade1,7000.5%
Transport and warehousing3020.3%
Finance and insurance1700.2%
Mining and oil extraction-159-6.5%
Agriculture and forestry-7,188-8.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Information paying $4,274per week compared with the state average of $1,390. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $358 or 9.1%. Company management ($2,647), rose by $190 or 7.7% and Utilities ($2,295) increased by $157 or 7.3% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Transport and warehousing$15512.9%
Information$3589.1%
Waste services$787.9%
Company management$1907.7%
Utilities$1577.3%
Retail trade$575.4%
Real estate and rental$575.0%
Other services$364.7%
Construction$544.5%
Healthcare$353.6%
Accommodation and food services$163.6%
Educational services$243.3%
Arts and entertainment$193.3%
Wholesale trade$523.2%
Finance and insurance$653.1%
Mining and oil extraction$342.5%
Manufacturing$392.2%
Agriculture and forestry$30.5%
Professional services$-126-6.0%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Washington. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 16.8% of the businesses in the state (with 42,034 employing 64,208 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 2,794 more businesses, an increase of 7.1% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (5.5% of businesses) added 110 businesses, an increase of 0.8% and Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of businesses) added 139 businesses, an increase of 1.7% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Farm product warehousing and storage40129.0%
Toilet preparation manufacturing937.5%
Goat farming333.3%
Trusts estates and agency accounts631.6%
Ferrous metal foundries526.3%
Casinos except casino hotels125.0%
Construction machinery manufacturing624.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled2,7947.1%
Residential building construction2663.5%
Software publishers20917.5%
Management consulting services1714.6%
Commercial banking15611.1%
Computer systems design and related services1391.7%
Restaurants and other eating places1100.8%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (5.5% of employees) added 110 employees, an increase of 0.8% and Computer systems design and related services (3.3% ofemployees) added 139 employees, an increase of 1.7% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Religious organizations2,411157.8%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation other1784.5%
Trusts estates and agency accounts1749.4%
Political organizations5240.2%
Distilleries8737.5%
Advertising material distribution services1633.9%
Securities and commodity exchanges130.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing4,9486.0%
Internet publishing and web search portals4,74526.5%
Software publishers4,6327.4%
Restaurants and other eating places4,6312.2%
Electronic shopping and mail-order houses3,6727.8%
General medical and surgical hospitals3,4444.1%
Religious organizations2,411157.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places ($6) and Computer systems design and related services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Restaurants and other eating places ($6 per week) were paid $110 more per week, an increase of 0.8% and Computer systems design and related services ($3 per week) were paid $139 more per week, an increase of 1.7% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other performing arts companies$1,656433.5%
Other ground passenger transportation$2,721357.6%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,488153.8%
Sheep farming$538148.2%
All other financial investment activities$1,779118.3%
All other animal production$50089.3%
Taxi service$36486.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other ground passenger transportation$2,721357.6%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,488153.8%
All other financial investment activities$1,779118.3%
Other performing arts companies$1,656433.5%
Professional employer organizations$1,09345.4%
Data processing hosting and related services$72725.8%
Elec. equip. and wiring merchant wholesalers$70435.0%


Company Size

Washington Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Washington by far. 66.9% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 236,508 small businesses in the state represent 96.3% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Washington added 4,112 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,063 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.7% 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 37 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.4% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 12 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.9% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Washington Employees by Business Size

Washington added 169,184 employees in the last year, an increase of 6.5% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 48,804 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 26.0% 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 23,905 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 2.4% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 96,475 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 22.7% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Washington Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Washington (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 16.5% less than the national average ($863 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Washington (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 38.5% workers above the national average ($3,111 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $139 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $125 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $45 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 0.9% 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.