Special Report

Largest Industry in Each State

21. Massachusetts
> Largest industry:
Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities
> Industry GDP: $19.4 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 4.7%
> Industry private workforce: 285,586

Contributing nearly $20 billion to Massachusetts’s GDP, hospitals and assisted living facilities are the biggest private industry in the Bay State. Boston is home to several medical institutions, such as Mass General Hospital, that are renowned for both their research and quality of care. US News and World Report ranks Massachusetts Eye and Ear as the best hospital in the United States for ear, nose, throat, head and neck care and the best overall hospital in the Northeast.

22. Michigan
> Largest industry:
Motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts manufacturing
> Industry GDP: $42.4 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 10.4%
> Industry private workforce: 166,805

Home to Detroit, the Motor City, it is no surprise that automobile manufacturing is the largest private industry in Michigan. Contributing more than $42 billion to GDP, Michigan’s largest industry is part of the state’s manufacturing sector, which had the fifth largest output of any state’s manufacturing sector. Nearly 5% of Michigan’s private workforce is employed in automobile and part manufacturing. In addition to being home to some of the country’s largest car makers, including General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, Michigan is responsible for nearly one-quarter of total vehicle production in the United States.

23. Minnesota
> Largest industry:
Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP: $11.8 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 4.2%
> Industry private workforce: 134,609

Ambulatory health care services is the biggest industry in Minnesota. Contributing nearly $12 billion to GDP, the industry generates more than 4% of the state’s economy. Ambulatory health care services, which includes dentistry and outpatient health care facilities, employs nearly 135,000 Minnesota residents — slightly less than 6% of the state’s non-government workforce.

24. Mississippi
> Largest industry:
Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP: $3.9 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 4.0%
> Industry private workforce: 45,842

In Mississippi, ambulatory health care services, which includes dentistry and outpatient health care facilities, accounts for about 4% of the state’s $95.6 billion total GDP. Because Mississippi often ranks as the least healthy state in country, it is perhaps not surprising that the ambulatory health care services industry is the state’s largest contributor to GDP. Nearly 46,000 of the state’s 866,000 private employees work in the industry.

25. Missouri
> Largest industry:
Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities
> Industry GDP: $10.9 billion
> Industry GDP as pct. of total: 4.2%
> Industry private workforce: 197,663

Hospitals and assisted living facilities are a nearly $11 billion industry in Missouri. The industry employs nearly 9% of the state’s private workforce and accounts for 4.2% of the Missouri’s total GDP. There are only seven other states where the largest industry employed a greater share of the private workforce. Missouri’s largest industry employed 8.8% of the state’s 2.3 million private workers.

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