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Private Covered Employers Size Class by Industry
March 2016
Download (xls)(pdf)

The Rhode Island economy is represented by a large number of companies employing a small number of workers. In March 2016 there were 33,209 firms employing 404,181 workers.  

The companies with 1-4 employees numbered 16,563 and accounted for 49.9% of RI companies and 7.6 % of the workforce.  

Employers that employ over 1,000+ are considered to be our largest employers and as of March 2016 number 32 and employ 16.6% of the private sector workforce, growing 0.2% in the last year. 

Smaller companies, those employing less than 20 people, represented 90.1 % of all Rhode Island employers and employed 24.5 % of the workforce. 

Rhode Island’s mid-sized companies (20-99 employees) had 26.9% of the private sector employment and accounted for 8.2% 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 48.6 %.

Rhode Island’s largest firms (1,000 or more in employment) are found in Health Care and Social Assistance (8), Finance and Insurance (7), 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).

Rhode Island Private Sector Employment
March 2016
Size Class Employers Employment
Number Percent Number Percent
Total: 33,209 100.0% 404,181 100.0%
Zero 5,944 17.9% 0 0.0%
1-4 16,563 49.9% 30,836 7.6%
5-9 4,579 13.8% 30,230 7.5%
10-19 2,821 8.5% 38,026 9.4%
20-49 2,032 6.1% 61,250 15.2%
50-99 685 2.1% 47,471 11.7%
100-249 404 1.2% 61,704 15.3%
250-499 106 0.3% 36,767 9.1%
500-999 43 0.1% 30,757 7.6%
1,000+ 32 0.1% 67,140 16.6%


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.

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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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