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16-1977-PHI
Monday, October 03, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Pennsylvania – First Quarter 2016

Washington County had second-largest wage decline among nation’s largest counties

Employment rose in 17 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania from March 2015 to March 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2015 annual average employment.) Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Northampton County’s 3.1 percent rate of employment growth was the fastest in Pennsylvania and ranked 78th among the 344 largest counties nationwide. Lancaster County followed with an employment increase of 2.7 percent, ranking 109th among the nation’s large counties. Washington and Erie Counties had the only employment declines among Pennsylvania’s large counties, down 2.5 and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Nationally, employment grew 2.0 percent during this 12-month period, as 318 of the 344 large counties nationwide gained jobs. Williamson County, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase in employment, up 7.9 percent over the year. Midland County, Texas, had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 9.0 percent.

Among the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, employment was highest in Allegheny County (678,100) in March 2016. One other county, Philadelphia, had employment above 600,000. Together, Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties accounted for 77.0 percent of total employment within the commonwealth. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.6 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Washington County declined 12.0 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016—the largest wage decrease among Pennsylvania’s largest counties and ranked 2nd in wage decline among the large counties nationwide. Thirteen large counties in Pennsylvania had wage decreases ranging from 6.2 percent in Allegheny to 0.1 percent in Bucks, Erie, and Northampton counties. Two counties—Lackawanna and Lehigh—had unchanged average weekly wages over the year. The remaining three large counties had wage increases from 0.1 percent (Westmoreland) to 1.1 percent (Lancaster). (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage decreased 0.5 percent over the year to $1,043 in the first quarter of 2016.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000. Forty-seven of these smaller counties had weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Nine of Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties had over-the-year wage decreases greater than the national decline of 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Three counties had wage growth and ranked in the top half among the 344 large counties nationwide.

Among the nation’s largest counties, 164 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., led the nation in average weekly wage growth with an increase of 15.5 percent from the first quarter of 2015. King, Wash., was second with a gain of 5.1 percent.

Nationwide, 167 large counties had decreases in average weekly wages over the year. McLean, Ill., had the largest decrease in wages with a decline of 13.3 percent from the first quarter of 2015. Washington, Pa., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages (-12.0 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-10.3 percent); Mercer, N.J. (-8.5 percent); and Williamson, Texas (-7.8 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

The average weekly wage in one of Pennsylvania’s large counties, Montgomery, ranked 22nd in the nation while Chester and Philadelphia also ranked in the top 50 nationwide. In addition to these counties, Allegheny, Delaware, and Washington also had wages above the U.S. average of $1,043.

Five large counties in the Commonwealth had average weekly wages that placed in the bottom fourth of the national ranking—Lackawanna, Erie, Luzerne, Westmoreland, and Lancaster. Wages in these counties were more than 20 percent below the national average for the first quarter of 2016.

Average weekly wages in Pennsylvania’s smaller counties

Forty-seven of the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,043. The exception was Montour County with wages of $1,247. Perry had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $569 in the first quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Pennsylvania were considered, 60 had wages below the national average of $1,043. Twenty-two reported wages below $700, 24 had wages from $701 to $800, 8 had wages from $801 to $900, 5 had wages from $901 to $1,000, and 8 had wages above $1,000. (See chart 1.) Four of the seven counties with wages above the national average of $1,043 were concentrated in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and two were located in the Pittsburgh area.

Additional statistics and other information

QCEW data for states have been included in this release in table 3. For additional information about quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note or visit the QCEW Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/.

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2014 edition of this publication is now available and contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Online will be available in September 2016.


Technical Note

Average weekly wage data by county are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, also known as the ES-202 program. The data are derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) legislation and provided by State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The 9.7 million employer reports cover 140.1 million full- and part-time workers. The average weekly wage values are calculated by dividing quarterly total wages by the average of the three monthly employment levels of those covered by UI programs. The result is then divided by 13, the number of weeks in a quarter. It is to be noted, therefore, that over-the-year wage changes for geographic areas may reflect shifts in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and such other factors as hours of work. Thus, wages may vary among counties, metropolitan areas, or states for reasons other than changes in the average wage level. Data for all states, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), counties, and the nation are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/

; however, data in QCEW press releases have been revised and may not match the data contained on the Bureau’s Web site.

QCEW data are not designed as a time series. QCEW data are simply the sums of individual establishment records reflecting the number of establishments that exist in a county or industry at a point in time. Establishments can move in or out of a county or industry for a number of reasons—some reflecting economic events, others reflecting administrative changes.

The preliminary QCEW data presented in this release may differ from data released by the individual states as well as from the data presented on the BLS Web site. These potential differences result from the states’ continuing receipt, review and editing of UI data over time. On the other hand, differences between data in this release and the data found on the BLS Web site are the result of adjustments made to improve over-the-year comparisons. Specifically, these adjustments account for administrative (noneconomic) changes such as a correction to a previously reported location or industry classification. Adjusting for these administrative changes allows users to more accurately assess changes of an economic nature (such as a firm moving from one county to another or changing its primary economic activity) over a 12-month period. Currently, adjusted data are available only from BLS press releases.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2016
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2016 (thousands) Percent change, March 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2015-16 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,070.80 2.0 -- $1,043 -- -0.5 --

Pennsylvania

5,662.20 1.1 -- 1,012 16 -1.9 42

Allegheny, Pa.

678.1 0.4 306 1,128 63 -6.2 337

Berks, Pa.

169.4 1.5 224 878 203 -0.5 207

Bucks, Pa.

255.3 1.9 176 929 162 -0.1 177

Butler, Pa.

84.0 1.5 224 902 180 -1.8 260

Chester, Pa.

244.9 1.8 192 1,343 28 -2.5 293

Cumberland, Pa.

130.2 2.2 150 907 175 -0.7 216

Dauphin, Pa.

177.2 1.4 235 984 133 -4.7 329

Delaware, Pa.

216.9 1.3 242 1,117 67 -1.3 239

Erie, Pa.

121.0 -1.4 334 769 308 -0.1 177

Lackawanna, Pa.

96.3 0.6 295 751 316 0.0 165

Lancaster, Pa.

230.3 2.7 109 823 263 1.1 88

Lehigh, Pa.

183.0 2.3 142 1,004 118 0.0 165

Luzerne, Pa.

142.1 1.3 242 772 304 -2.4 287

Montgomery, Pa.

477.3 2.1 158 1,371 22 -0.3 191

Northampton, Pa.

109.1 3.1 78 881 199 -0.1 177

Philadelphia, Pa.

654.2 1.5 224 1,206 47 -1.7 254

Washington, Pa.

84.4 -2.5 338 1,066 82 -12.0 342

Westmoreland, Pa.

131.3 1.0 263 791 292 0.1 155

York, Pa.

174.7 1.6 211 862 215 0.8 108

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(3) Ranking does not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2016
Area Employment March 2016 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

140,070,814 $1,043

Pennsylvania

5,662,249 1012

Adams

34,032 705

Allegheny

678,125 1,128

Armstrong

16,253 711

Beaver

50,929 798

Bedford

15,066 627

Berks

169,420 878

Blair

57,879 705

Bradford

23,063 781

Bucks

255,333 929

Butler

83,965 902

Cambria

52,066 679

Cameron

1,933 707

Carbon

16,971 628

Centre

67,467 876

Chester

244,927 1,343

Clarion

13,333 621

Clearfield

29,280 676

Clinton

12,941 753

Columbia

24,810 698

Crawford

30,470 690

Cumberland

130,195 907

Dauphin

177,216 984

Delaware

216,949 1,117

Elk

14,880 764

Erie

120,963 769

Fayette

38,688 659

Forest

1,961 828

Franklin

58,167 735

Fulton

4,906 763

Greene

13,015 928

Huntingdon

12,049 681

Indiana

30,220 796

Jefferson

15,165 688

Juniata

6,375 628

Lackawanna

96,295 751

Lancaster

230,313 823

Lawrence

27,714 699

Lebanon

48,724 752

Lehigh

183,042 1,004

Luzerne

142,070 772

Lycoming

50,774 753

Mckean

15,121 762

Mercer

46,629 726

Mifflin

15,430 674

Monroe

55,084 800

Montgomery

477,314 1,371

Montour

15,345 1,247

Northampton

109,062 881

Northumberland

26,596 708

Perry

7,791 569

Philadelphia

654,221 1,206

Pike

10,487 607

Potter

5,164 729

Schuylkill

49,303 717

Snyder

15,882 604

Somerset

23,481 672

Sullivan

1,579 602

Susquehanna

9,040 685

Tioga

12,628 708

Union

17,144 798

Venango

18,129 668

Warren

14,646 695

Washington

84,401 1,066

Wayne

13,954 696

Westmoreland

131,306 791

Wyoming

9,590 838

York

174,744 862

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

NOTE: Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, first quarter 2016
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2016 (thousands) Percent change, March 2015-16 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2015-16 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

140,070.8 2.0 1043 -- -0.5 --

Alabama

1,902.6 1.6 842 37 -0.2 22

Alaska

317.6 -1.4 1028 15 -2 43

Arizona

2,679.8 2.8 918 23 -0.8 30

Arkansas

1,191.1 2.1 793 45 0.5 13

California

16,455.5 2.6 1206 6 0 20

Colorado

2,514.6 2.4 1057 13 -1.3 36

Connecticut

1,650.6 0.6 1362 3 -1.4 38

Delaware

429.7 1.5 1072 10 -3 48

District of Columbia

749.6 2.0 1766 1 0.4 14

Florida

8,301.8 3.5 887 27 0.2 18

Georgia

4,215.1 3.0 1008 17 1.9 2

Hawaii

645.1 1.4 896 26 1.7 3

Idaho

670.4 3.5 725 50 -1.5 39

Illinois

5,800.6 1.2 1126 7 -0.5 28

Indiana

2,949.5 1.9 853 33 -0.5 28

Iowa

1,518.2 0.9 844 36 -0.4 27

Kansas

1,362.3 0.4 833 38 -2 43

Kentucky

1,843.9 1.9 823 41 0.1 19

Louisiana

1,910.5 -0.8 860 32 -2.6 47

Maine

580.5 1.8 804 44 1.1 8

Maryland

2,591.7 1.9 1103 9 -0.8 30

Massachusetts

3,414.8 2.1 1327 4 -1 33

Michigan

4,163.7 2.1 976 20 0.7 11

Minnesota

2,750.1 1.5 1065 12 -1.2 34

Mississippi

1,121.0 1.7 713 51 0.4 14

Missouri

2,729.5 1.9 879 29 -0.3 25

Montana

447.8 1.8 751 49 0.3 16

Nebraska

956.6 1.4 817 42 0 20

Nevada

1,264.1 3.0 875 30 1.2 5

New Hampshire

635.1 1.9 998 18 1.6 4

New Jersey

3,909.7 2.4 1268 5 -1.7 41

New Mexico

800.4 0.0 792 46 -1.6 40

New York

9,042.2 2.0 1456 2 -0.3 25

North Carolina

4,220.3 3.0 928 22 -0.2 22

North Dakota

409.4 -6.2 908 25 -7.6 51

Ohio

5,236.2 1.8 913 24 -0.8 30

Oklahoma

1,578.6 -0.9 833 38 -4.1 49

Oregon

1,808.2 3.2 929 21 1.2 5

Pennsylvania

5,662.2 1.1 1012 16 -1.9 42

Rhode Island

464.6 1.9 985 19 -2.2 46

South Carolina

1,974.6 2.7 806 43 0.8 10

South Dakota

410.5 0.9 771 48 1.2 5

Tennessee

2,859.2 3.3 887 27 0.3 16

Texas

11,638.7 0.7 1066 11 -2.1 45

Utah

1,369.2 3.8 849 35 0.6 12

Vermont

304.6 0.1 832 40 1 9

Virginia

3,748.1 2.6 1057 13 -1.2 34

Washington

3,147.7 3.1 1121 8 3 1

West Virginia

683.9 -1.2 782 47 -1.3 36

Wisconsin

2,771.4 1.3 875 30 -0.2 22

Wyoming

267.9 -3.7 850 34 -4.7 50

Puerto Rico

895.2 -1.2 520 (3) -0.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.6 0.4 769 (3) 2.9 (3)

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(3) Data not included in the national ranking.

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, October 03, 2016