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14-1119-DAL
June 27, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in Arkansas – Fourth Quarter 2013

Employment increased in the three largest Arkansas counties from December 2012 to December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are those with 2012 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that Benton County had the largest increase, up 2.1 percent, followed by Washington (0.6 percent) and Pulaski (0.1 percent). (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.8 percent from December 2012 to December 2013 as 292 of the 334 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Weld County, Colo., recorded the highest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. St. Clair, Ill., registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 3.1 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Arkansas, employment was highest in Pulaski County (246,400) in December 2013. Benton and Washington Counties had employment levels of 100,800 and 95,200, respectively. Together, the three largest Arkansas counties accounted for 38.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, Washington County recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages among the three large counties in Arkansas, registering a gain of 2.5 percent. (See table 1.) Benton County recorded the highest average weekly wage among these large counties at $913 per week. Nationally, the average weekly wage was unchanged from a year ago at $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 72 counties in Arkansas with employment levels below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2013. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Washington County’s 2.5-percent rise in average weekly wages from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013 ranked 29th among the nation’s 334 largest counties. (See table 1.) Advancing at a slower pace, wages in Benton increased 1.1 percent over the year, ranking 95th. In contrast, Pulaski County recorded a wage decrease of 3.1 percent.

Nationally, 185 of the 334 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest wage gain, up 6.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. Ada, Idaho, was second with a wage increase of 6.4 percent, followed by the counties of Washington, Ore. (5.9 percent), and Union, N.J. (5.2 percent).

Among the large U.S. counties, 140 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Douglas, Colo., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 29.7 percent. San Mateo, Calif., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 15.8 percent from the fourth quarter 2012, followed by Virginia Beach City, Va. (-10.0 percent), McHenry, Ill. (-8.8 percent), and Shawnee, Kan. (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the state’s three large counties were below the national average of $1,000 per week. However, average weekly wages in two of these counties were high enough to place near the middle of the national ranking. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Benton County's average wage ($913) ranked 161st and Pulaski County ($899) ranked 178th. In contrast, at $857 per week, wages in Washington County placed in the bottom third among large U.S. counties, ranking 223rd overall.

Nationally, 98 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,724. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,041, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,972).

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (235) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($587), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($598) and Hidalgo ($620). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than a quarter of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, San Mateo, Calif.

Average weekly wages in Arkansas's smaller counties

All 72 of Arkansas’s smaller counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported weekly wages below the national average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Among these counties, Calhoun ($916) and Union ($876) posted the highest weekly wages, while Newton reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state ($472). (See table 2.)

When all 75 counties in Arkansas were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages under $550, 37 reported wages from $550 to $649, 18 had wages from $650 to $749, 7 had wages from $750 to $849, and 5 averaged $850 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The higher-paying counties were located around the metropolitan areas of Fayetteville and Little Rock, and along the southern border of the state.

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 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 2012 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2013 version of the news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2014.

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.


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 9.3 million employer reports covered 136.1 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 (see Technical Note below) 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.


 

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 3 largest counties in Arkansas, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
December
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2012-13 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2012-13 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

136,129.4 1.8 -- $1,000 -- 0.0 --

Arkansas

1,154.3 -0.5 -- 771 47 0.4 22

Benton, Ark.

100.8 2.1 118 913 161 1.1 95

Pulaski, Ark.

246.4 0.1 290 899 178 -3.1 323

Washington, Ark.

95.2 0.6 239 857 223 2.5 29

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


Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Arkansas, fourth quarter 2013
Area Employment
December
2013
Average
Weekly
Wage (1)

United States (2)

136,129,407 $1,000

Arkansas

1,154,299 771

Arkansas

10,008 754

Ashley

7,264 767

Baxter

14,092 659

Benton

100,778 913

Boone

13,613 668

Bradley

3,419 597

Calhoun

2,669 916

Carroll

9,791 537

Chicot

3,329 579

Clark

9,391 614

Clay

3,623 565

Cleburne

6,798 597

Cleveland

1,078 561

Columbia

8,126 742

Conway

6,925 696

Craighead

45,733 716

Crawford

19,130 656

Crittenden

16,696 639

Cross

4,999 623

Dallas

2,712 556

Desha

4,577 643

Drew

6,503 601

Faulkner

40,528 805

Franklin

4,374 667

Fulton

1,946 541

Garland

35,414 655

Grant

3,855 669

Greene

14,829 670

Hempstead

7,858 626

Hot Spring

8,497 640

Howard

7,195 557

Independence

14,517 676

Izard

3,110 578

Jackson

5,167 660

Jefferson

28,549 749

Johnson

8,334 566

Lafayette

1,266 655

Lawrence

4,186 561

Lee

1,976 637

Lincoln

2,972 643

Little River

3,888 783

Logan

5,514 613

Lonoke

13,472 627

Madison

3,179 566

Marion

3,707 554

Miller

12,856 712

Mississippi

18,974 814

Monroe

2,191 578

Montgomery

1,352 508

Nevada

2,371 582

Newton

1,099 472

Ouachita

7,168 625

Perry

1,224 605

Phillips

5,827 602

Pike

2,281 553

Poinsett

5,025 658

Polk

5,938 556

Pope

26,527 683

Prairie

1,538 638

Pulaski

246,435 899

Randolph

4,700 518

Saline

21,789 637

Scott

3,090 554

Searcy

1,598 494

Sebastian

64,804 771

Sevier

4,845 555

Sharp

3,616 507

St. Francis

7,880 620

Stone

2,442 494

Union

17,952 876

Van Buren

3,855 816

Washington

95,212 857

White

24,638 687

Woodruff

1,876 617

Yell

6,561 550

(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: Covered employment and wages 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, fourth quarter 2013
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2012-13
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2012-13
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

136,129.4 1.8 $1,000 -- 0.0 --

Alabama

1,866.5 1.0 851 34 -0.5 39

Alaska

315.1 0.0 1,022 14 1.6 7

Arizona

2,571.0 2.4 906 23 -0.5 39

Arkansas

1,154.3 -0.5 771 47 0.4 22

California

15,650.3 2.8 1,175 6 -0.9 43

Colorado

2,383.9 3.1 1,023 13 -0.9 43

Connecticut

1,661.2 0.3 1,238 4 -1.3 49

Delaware

419.6 1.8 1,035 9 -0.6 41

District of Columbia

727.3 0.6 1,638 1 -3.9 51

Florida

7,739.5 2.7 883 29 0.2 27

Georgia

3,986.9 2.5 924 21 -0.1 32

Hawaii

632.9 1.7 871 30 0.3 25

Idaho

634.5 2.6 754 50 3.0 2

Illinois

5,758.9 1.0 1,060 8 0.2 27

Indiana

2,896.9 1.6 814 40 -0.2 35

Iowa

1,510.9 1.4 834 38 1.6 7

Kansas

1,359.5 1.6 832 39 -0.4 38

Kentucky

1,818.0 1.2 804 42 0.2 27

Louisiana

1,911.6 0.9 889 26 0.5 20

Maine

586.8 0.8 786 46 1.7 5

Maryland

2,555.1 0.4 1,076 7 -0.9 43

Massachusetts

3,332.9 1.5 1,258 3 0.8 17

Michigan

4,072.4 2.0 952 20 -0.2 35

Minnesota

2,720.6 1.7 988 16 0.3 25

Mississippi

1,108.1 1.1 729 51 1.3 11

Missouri

2,670.4 1.1 861 32 -0.2 35

Montana

440.0 1.3 760 48 0.4 22

Nebraska

944.3 1.4 796 43 -0.1 32

Nevada

1,180.5 3.0 884 28 0.7 18

New Hampshire

629.3 1.4 1,017 15 -0.8 42

New Jersey

3,887.5 1.2 1,186 5 1.1 14

New Mexico

796.2 -0.1 814 40 1.4 10

New York

8,888.6 1.7 1,266 2 -1.1 48

North Carolina

4,045.5 1.9 860 33 0.7 18

North Dakota

435.0 3.3 980 17 3.8 1

Ohio

5,175.4 1.4 887 27 0.0 30

Oklahoma

1,581.3 0.6 851 34 -0.1 32

Oregon

1,699.6 2.5 894 25 2.6 3

Pennsylvania

5,650.3 0.4 976 18 0.4 22

Rhode Island

462.7 1.4 960 19 1.5 9

South Carolina

1,875.8 2.3 793 44 1.0 15

South Dakota

407.1 1.3 759 49 1.3 11

Tennessee

2,758.3 1.8 895 24 -0.9 43

Texas

11,246.3 2.6 1,027 12 0.0 30

Utah

1,284.7 3.1 836 37 -0.9 43

Vermont

308.5 0.6 848 36 2.3 4

Virginia

3,670.0 0.1 1,028 11 -1.3 49

Washington

2,976.0 2.5 1,034 10 1.7 5

West Virginia

710.1 -0.6 792 45 0.5 20

Wisconsin

2,751.8 1.0 865 31 1.2 13

Wyoming

279.2 0.6 917 22 1.0 15

Puerto Rico

958.3 -2.3 551 (3) 0.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.5 -3.6 754 (3) 2.4 (3)

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

 

 Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Arkansas, fourth quarter 2013

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, June 27, 2014