Special Report

Largest Industry in Each State

1. Alabama
> Largest industry:
Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP: $7.4 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 4.1%
> Industry private workforce: 86,733

A diverse range of economic activity takes place in the ambulatory health care services subsector, the largest industry in Alabama. The industry, which includes diagnostic laboratories, dentist offices, outpatient care centers, and other health-related outpatient services, contributed $7.4 billion to the state’s total 2013 GDP of $180.1 billion.

2. Alaska
> Largest industry:
Oil and gas extraction
> Industry GDP: $8.7 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 17.5%
> Industry private workforce: 4,080

In Alaska, natural resource extraction is big business. Oil and gas extraction accounts for 17.5% of the state’s GDP. Alaska is the second largest producer of natural gas in the country and nearly 1 million barrels of petroleum are shipped daily through a pipeline system from the state’s North Slope to the Valdez shipping port on the state’s southern coast.

3. Arizona
> Largest industry:
Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP: $11.8 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 4.6%
> Industry private workforce: 142,324

As in seven other states, the largest industry in Arizona is the ambulatory health care subsector. Of the 2.2 million private employees in the state, 142,324, or 6.6%, work in the industry. Ambulatory care covers most outpatient services such as preventive care and routine procedures. According to the BLS, activity in the industry is driven primarily by the health practitioners themselves, as ambulatory care typically does not depend heavily on facilities or equipment.

4. Arkansas
> Largest industry:
Broadcasting and telecommunications
> Industry GDP: $6.9 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 6.3%
> Industry private workforce: 7,579

Contributing nearly $7 billion to the state’s total GDP, broadcasting is the largest industry in Arkansas. Broadcasting studios are venues for creating, recording and delivering content through various media such as radio and television. Revenue is primarily generated through programming rights and air time sales to advertisers. Though the broadcasting industry employs less than 1% of Arkansas’ total private workforce, it accounts for more than 6% of the state’s total GDP.

5. California
> Largest industry:
Computer and electronic products manufacturing
> Industry GDP: $74.7 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 3.6%
> Industry private workforce: 261,416

With a total GDP in excess of $2 trillion, California’s economy is the largest in the country. Excluding the real estate industry, computer and electronic products manufacturing contributes more to the state’s economy than any other industry. Server and processor manufacturer Intel employs about 12,500 people in California with a major site in Silicon Valley and another outside Sacramento.