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Private Covered Employers Size Class by Industry
March 2017
Download (xlsx)(pdf)

The Rhode Island economy is represented by a large number of companies employing a small number of workers. In March 2017, there were 33,657 private firms employing 404,757 workers. 

Smaller companies, those employing less than 20 people, represented 90.2% of all Rhode Island employers and employed 24.8% of the workforce.

Rhode Island’s mid-sized companies (20-99 employees) had 8.0% of the private sector employment and accounted for 26.8% of firms.  


The largest firms in Rhode Island, those employing 100 or more, numbered 585. This is just 1.7% of employers but they employ almost half of the private sector workforce at 48.4%.

Rhode Island’s largest firms (1,000 or more in employment) are found in Health Care and Social Assistance (6), Finance and Insurance (6), Private Education (5), Retail Trade (5), Transportation and Warehousing (2), Management of Companies and Enterprises (2), Manufacturing (1), Administrative and Waste Management Services (1), and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (1).


It is important to note that changes in size class data are influenced by the switching of employers from one size class to another as well new firms coming into the State of Rhode Island.

Size Class Zero represents active employers experiencing zero employment in the month of March.

Reasons for zero employment can include seasonal business, remodeling, disaster such as flood or fire, company vacation, temporary layoff, etc.

Rhode Island Private Sector Employment
March 2017
Size Class Employers Employment
Number Percent Number Percent
Total: 33,657 100.00% 404,757 100.00%
Zero 6,141 18.2% 0 0.0%
1-4 16,717 49.7% 31,144 7.7%
5-9 4,636 13.8% 30,437 7.5%
10-19 2,873 8.5% 38,770 9.6%
20-49 2,023 6.0% 61,175 15.1%
50-99 682 2.0% 47,168 11.7%
100-249 395 1.2% 59,572 14.7%
250-499 115 0.3% 39,552 9.8%
500-999 46 0.1% 33,048 8.2%
1,000+ 29 0.1% 63,891 15.8%

It is important to note that changes in size class data are influenced by the switching of employers from one size class to another as well as by new firms coming into the state.


RI Department of Labor and Training
Labor Market Information
Center General Complex
1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-8740
Fax (401) 462-8766
TTY via RI Relay: 711
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