Special Report

Largest Industry in Each State


To identify the largest industry in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed each state’s industries and their respective GDP contributions from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. All BEA data is as of 2017, the most recent period for which detailed data is available. With only a few exceptions, the largest industry in each state is real estate. In order to identify regional industrial differences, we excluded the real estate sector in our examination. All government sectors were also excluded. Only industries on the same subsector level were included, and as a result, broader categories such as manufacturing, construction and retail were not considered. Employment and wage figures for private employees in each industry came from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The QCEW and BEA industry data were aligned according to their North American Industry Classification System codes.