I've lived in Billings for a very long time, so when the question came to me about what industry was the largest in the Magic City, I assumed it would be something like manufacturing due to the large factory presence in the city. I found a report by BillingsWorks that showed the economic state of Yellowstone County in 2020, expecting to find manufacturing at the top. However, I was surprised to learn that manufacturing wasn't even in the top ten.

What in the world is BillingsWorks?

BillingsWorks is a collaborative organization of different businesses in Billings. They compile a report every year titled State of the Workforce which is, "...a tool for the community’s use in making strategic decisions about our local workforce and economy." The 2020 report is incredibly thorough, and covers the quantitative data of the workforce in Yellowstone County, as well as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The largest industry in Billings is Healthcare.

According to the 2020 State of the Workforce report, Healthcare & social assistance is the largest industry by employment in Yellowstone County, with a reported 14,413 jobs in 2019. It definitely makes sense, considering that Billings Clinic is the state's largest independent health care system.

Retail trade is second, coming in at 11,018 reported jobs. Retail trade would be something like department stores, grocery stores, and other shops meant to sell to individual people.

If you don't want to view the report in detail, here's the rest of the list in a simplified form:

  • 1. Healthcare & Social Assistance - 14,413 jobs in 2019
  • 2. Retail Trade - 11,018 jobs
  • 3. Accomodation & Food Service - 9,293 jobs
  • 4. Construction - 6,688 jobs
  • 5. Wholesale Trade - 5,254 jobs
  • 6. Educational Services - 4,963 jobs
  • 7. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services - 4,753 jobs
  • 8. Transportation & Warehousing - 4,609 jobs
  • 9. Other Services (Except Public Administration) - 4,282 jobs
  • 10. Public Administration - 3,947 jobs

h/t: KKLS

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