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16-1170-DAL
Friday, June 17, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in New Mexico – Fourth Quarter 2015

New Mexico’s only large county, Bernalillo, reported an employment increase of 1.2 percent from December 2014 to December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with 2014 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the rate of employment growth in Bernalillo County was below the national average. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.9 percent from December 2014 to December 2015 as 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.8 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, registered the largest percentage employment decline among large counties, down 11.8 percent.

Employment in Bernalillo County stood at 322,800 in December 2015, accounting for 39.9 percent of total employment in New Mexico. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 141.9 million, up 2.7 million from December 2014.

The average weekly wage in Bernalillo County was $904 in the fourth quarter of 2015, ranking it 247th among the 342 large U.S. counties. Seventy percent of the large U.S. counties (241) reported weekly wages below the national average of $1,082. Cameron, Texas, reported the lowest wage ($649), followed by Horry, S.C. ($653) and Hidalgo, Texas ($661).

Nationally, 100 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,335. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,235, followed by San Mateo, Calif., at $2,095. Average wages in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif., were more than three times the average wage in the lowest-ranked county, Cameron, Texas ($649).

The average weekly wage in Bernalillo County increased 3.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. Bernalillo’s percentage change ranked 260th among the largest U.S. counties. Nationally, average weekly wages increased 4.4 percent over the year, as 325 of the 342 largest counties registered increases. Wyandotte, Kan., had the largest wage gain, up 10.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014. Sonoma, Calif., was second with a wage increase of 10.0 percent, followed by the counties of Lake, Ill. (9.8 percent) and Passaic, N.J. (9.4 percent).

Among the large U.S. counties, 10 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, experienced the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages with a loss of 11.5 percent. Within Midland, natural resources and mining had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage decline with a decrease of 11.6 percent. Ector, Texas, had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 8.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014, followed by Lafayette, La. (-4.3 percent) and Gregg, Texas (-3.2 percent).

Average weekly wages in New Mexico’s smaller counties

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 32 counties in New Mexico with employment levels below 75,000. Two of these smaller counties had average weekly wages above the $1,082 national average in the fourth quarter of 2015: Los Alamos ($1,610) and Eddy ($1,093). In addition to Los Alamos and Eddy, Lea ($1,012) and Santa Fe ($980) Counties had average weekly wages that were higher than those in the single large county, Bernalillo ($904). Catron and Sierra Counties had the lowest average weekly wages in the state, at $530 and $564, respectively. (See table 2.)

When all 33 counties in New Mexico were considered, 4 had weekly wages averaging $599 or less, 15 averaged $600 to $699 per week, 6 reported wages from $700 to $799, and 8 had wages exceeding $800. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average wages were concentrated around the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque, Carlsbad, Farmington, Hobbs, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe.

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 2014 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 2015 version of the 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 Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

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

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 7, 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 141.9 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 largest county in New Mexico, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December
2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

141,924.5 1.9 -- $1,082 -- 4.4 --

New Mexico

808.9 -0.1 -- 865 44 1.8 47

Bernalillo, N.M.

322.8 1.2 221 904 247 3.6 260

(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 New Mexico, fourth quarter 2015
Area Employment
December
2015
Average
weekly
wage (1)

United States (2)

141,924,459 $1,082

New Mexico

808,940 865

Bernalillo

322,758 904

Catron

613 530

Chaves

21,885 691

Cibola

8,023 716

Colfax

4,633 632

Curry

17,353 702

De Baca

455 816

Dona Ana

71,414 730

Eddy

28,340 1,093

Grant

9,220 780

Guadalupe

1,532 605

Harding

158 655

Hidalgo

1,497 741

Lea

29,749 1,012

Lincoln

6,263 609

Los Alamos

15,545 1,610

Luna

7,279 664

McKinley

20,518 664

Mora

678 604

Otero

17,838 683

Quay

2,592 589

Rio Arriba

9,707 653

Roosevelt

6,030 648

Sandoval

29,402 821

San Juan

49,287 886

San Miguel

8,338 582

Santa Fe

61,429 980

Sierra

3,390 564

Socorro

5,326 723

Taos

10,794 618

Torrance

3,208 680

Union

1,399 659

Valencia

13,453 625

(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 2015
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
December
2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2014-15
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2014-15
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

141,924.5 1.9 $1,082 -- 4.4 --

Alabama

1,916.2 1.4 912 37 3.4 37

Alaska

315.9 -0.5 1,095 13 2.9 43

Arizona

2,701.8 2.6 967 24 4.4 28

Arkansas

1,201.4 1.7 838 46 3.8 35

California

16,593.8 3.1 1,274 5 5.4 10

Colorado

2,537.5 2.5 1,103 11 3.3 40

Connecticut

1,685.1 0.3 1,334 4 4.3 29

Delaware

441.2 1.8 1,086 15 3.4 37

District of Columbia

754.2 2.2 1,756 1 3.4 37

Florida

8,308.1 3.7 958 26 5.2 16

Georgia

4,249.4 2.9 1,001 21 4.5 27

Hawaii

653.0 2.2 957 27 5.4 10

Idaho

670.1 3.4 803 50 2.6 45

Illinois

5,931.2 1.4 1,146 8 5.1 18

Indiana

2,996.3 1.7 891 40 5.3 14

Iowa

1,539.0 0.7 920 34 5.7 3

Kansas

1,382.1 0.4 898 38 5.0 20

Kentucky

1,881.3 1.6 885 41 5.9 1

Louisiana

1,937.4 -1.0 940 29 1.8 47

Maine

596.9 0.7 873 43 5.7 3

Maryland

2,636.7 1.7 1,175 7 5.6 5

Massachusetts

3,479.1 1.6 1,385 2 5.4 10

Michigan

4,218.9 1.5 1,043 18 5.9 1

Minnesota

2,805.8 1.5 1,073 16 4.8 22

Mississippi

1,133.8 1.3 770 51 3.1 41

Missouri

2,759.6 1.8 933 33 4.6 25

Montana

453.2 2.5 818 49 3.0 42

Nebraska

971.8 1.4 880 42 5.1 18

Nevada

1,272.2 3.5 935 32 4.0 31

New Hampshire

648.6 1.7 1,139 9 5.4 10

New Jersey

3,988.4 1.7 1,262 6 4.0 31

New Mexico

808.9 -0.1 865 44 1.8 47

New York

9,227.6 1.7 1,372 3 3.9 34

North Carolina

4,247.1 2.5 939 30 5.5 8

North Dakota

428.1 -5.9 1,021 20 -2.8 51

Ohio

5,328.8 1.2 964 25 4.6 25

Oklahoma

1,605.0 -0.7 896 39 2.3 46

Oregon

1,814.8 3.3 979 23 5.5 8

Pennsylvania

5,759.7 0.7 1,063 17 4.9 21

Rhode Island

478.1 1.5 1,043 18 4.0 31

South Carolina

1,987.1 2.8 860 45 5.3 14

South Dakota

417.7 1.2 832 47 5.2 16

Tennessee

2,898.1 2.8 980 22 5.6 5

Texas

11,832.1 1.4 1,099 12 2.7 44

Utah

1,375.6 3.8 913 36 4.7 23

Vermont

312.1 0.3 919 35 4.1 30

Virginia

3,806.2 3.0 1,094 14 3.5 36

Washington

3,137.2 2.3 1,132 10 4.7 23

West Virginia

703.7 -1.3 829 48 1.3 49

Wisconsin

2,820.5 1.1 944 28 5.6 5

Wyoming

276.0 -2.9 937 31 -1.7 50

Puerto Rico

929.9 -1.6 565 (3) 1.6 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.4 -0.3 787 (3) 4.7 (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: 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: Friday, June 17, 2016