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16-440-DAL
Monday, March 21, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2015

Employment rose in 24 of the 27 largest counties in Texas from September 2014 to September 2015, 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 2014 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that one Texas county ranked among the top 10 nationwide for job growth. The 6.1-percent employment gain in Denton County was the fastest in the state and ranked third nationwide. In contrast, employment fell in Ector, Midland, and Gregg; annual percentage job losses were evident in most industry sectors, but were led by natural resources and mining. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.9 percent from September 2014 to September 2015 as 312 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., recorded the fastest employment gain in the country, up 6.5 percent. Ector, Texas, experienced the largest over-the-year decrease with a loss of 8.3 percent; employment in Ector’s natural resources and mining sector fell 28.4 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,287,600) in September 2015, followed by Dallas County (1,616,800). Three other counties, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, had employment levels exceeding 600,000. Together, the 27 largest Texas counties accounted for 81.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, average weekly wages nationwide increased 2.6 percent to $974. Among large counties in Texas, Travis registered the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 3.9 percent, while Midland recorded the largest decrease, down 6.7 percent. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2015, Harris had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,240 and Cameron had the lowest at $615.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 227 counties in Texas with employment levels below 75,000 in 2014. Among these smaller counties, 204 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Five of Texas’s 27 large counties recorded wage growth above the 2.6-percent national increase from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. Travis County’s 3.9-percent wage increase was the highest in the state and placed 47th in the national ranking, followed by Galveston (3.5 percent, 72nd), Denton (3.0 percent, 117th), Brazoria (2.8 percent, 138th), and Jefferson (2.7 percent, 147th). (See table 1.) In contrast, six Texas counties recorded wage decreases from the third quarter of 2014. Midland, Texas, experienced the largest percentage decrease in the nation, with average weekly wages declining 6.7 percent over the year; the natural resources and mining sector had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage decline with a decrease of 8.1 percent over the year.

Nationally, 319 of the 342 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Rockland, N.Y., experienced the largest wage gain in the nation, up 24.9 percent. Lake, Ill., had the second largest increase (11.7 percent), followed by Onondaga, N.Y. (6.5 percent), and Washington, Ore. (6.4 percent).

Nationwide, 20 of the largest counties registered wage declines during the period. As noted, Midland, Texas, experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.7 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, had the second largest wage decline (-4.9 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-3.2 percent), and Stark, Ohio (-2.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 27 large Texas counties were at least 10 percent above the national average of $974 per week in the third quarter of 2015. Harris County led at $1,240 per week and ranked 21st among the 342 large counties nationwide. Harris was followed by Midland ($1,177, 31st), Dallas ($1,157, 38th), Collin ($1,126, 43rd), and Travis ($1,122, 45th). Three additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Ector ($1,037, 74th), Jefferson ($1,003, 85th), and Brazoria ($992, 89th).

Texas had four of the lowest-paying large counties in the United States, all located along the border with Mexico: Cameron ($615, 341st), Hidalgo ($624, 340th), Webb ($658, 338th), and El Paso ($698, 331st). Other Texas counties with low national rankings included Brazos ($734, 326th), Lubbock ($779, 294th), and McLennan ($792, 284th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 100 of the largest counties in the country. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,090. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,894, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,829), San Francisco, Calif. ($1,712), and Washington, D.C. ($1,667).

Of the largest counties in the United States, 242, or more than two-thirds, reported average weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2014. The lowest wage was reported in Horry, S.C., at $598 per week, followed by the Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo. Wages in these three lowest-ranked counties were less than 30 percent of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Twenty-three of the 227 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $974. Two of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Carson ($1,347) and King ($1,331). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $399 in the third quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 31 had wages below the national average. Forty-seven reported average weekly wages under $650, 88 registered wages from $650 to $749, 58 had wages from $750 to $849, 26 had wages from $850 to $949, and 35 had wages of $950 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The counties with the highest average weekly wages were located around the large metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as the smaller areas of Midland, Odessa, and Amarillo. Lower-paying counties were concentrated in the agricultural areas of central Texas, the Texas Panhandle, and along the Texas-Mexico border.

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 fourth quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 8, 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 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.4 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 27 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2015
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2015
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter
2014-15 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,442.2 1.9 -- $974 -- 2.6 --

Texas

11,681.0 2.1 -- 999 13 1.1 45

Bell, Texas

116.2 4.2 22 823 249 2.6 154

Bexar, Texas

821.4 3.3 71 874 193 2.2 204

Brazoria, Texas

103.4 4.0 32 992 89 2.8 138

Brazos, Texas

99.8 4.5 16 734 326 -0.4 326

Cameron, Texas

135.7 1.2 221 615 341 2.2 204

Collin, Texas

366.9 4.9 11 1,126 43 2.5 165

Dallas, Texas

1,616.8 4.0 32 1,157 38 1.4 274

Denton, Texas

221.4 6.1 3 885 180 3.0 117

Ector, Texas

72.0 -8.3 340 1,037 74 -4.9 340

El Paso, Texas

292.0 3.1 89 698 331 2.6 154

Fort Bend, Texas

170.6 3.6 49 949 117 -0.3 323

Galveston, Texas

102.8 3.5 58 853 213 3.5 72

Gregg, Texas

76.1 -4.2 338 846 218 -1.5 337

Harris, Texas

2,287.6 0.8 252 1,240 21 0.1 319

Hidalgo, Texas

243.9 2.5 124 624 340 1.0 300

Jefferson, Texas

123.1 0.4 292 1,003 85 2.7 147

Lubbock, Texas

135.0 2.4 128 779 294 2.1 215

McLennan, Texas

108.1 1.9 162 792 284 2.2 204

Midland, Texas

86.8 -7.3 339 1,177 31 -6.7 341

Montgomery, Texas

165.3 3.2 81 957 112 0.0 320

Nueces, Texas

163.0 0.8 252 861 201 1.2 286

Potter, Texas

79.1 1.6 192 804 272 0.2 318

Smith, Texas

100.2 4.1 25 810 265 -0.6 329

Tarrant, Texas

844.9 2.6 117 967 104 2.5 165

Travis, Texas

692.4 4.6 15 1,122 45 3.9 47

Webb, Texas

97.7 2.6 117 658 338 0.9 305

Williamson, Texas

150.8 4.5 16 937 130 1.7 253

(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 Texas, third quarter 2015
Area Employment
September
2015
Average
weekly
wage (1)

United States (2)

140,442,224 $974

Texas

11,680,983 999

Anderson

19,994 773

Andrews

7,338 1,125

Angelina

36,262 742

Aransas

6,368 709

Archer

1,861 722

Armstrong

436 629

Atascosa

12,198 830

Austin

10,055 845

Bailey

2,454 732

Bandera

3,113 629

Bastrop

16,117 690

Baylor

1,226 676

Bee

9,329 742

Bell

116,176 823

Bexar

821,361 874

Blanco

2,922 800

Borden

257 570

Bosque

3,680 666

Bowie

41,508 713

Brazoria

103,414 992

Brazos

99,783 734

Brewster

3,784 721

Briscoe

319 584

Brooks

2,479 777

Brown

15,858 666

Burleson

3,990 819

Burnet

13,167 739

Caldwell

8,186 688

Calhoun

12,678 1,165

Callahan

2,201 717

Cameron

135,659 615

Camp

3,896 716

Carson

4,572 1,347

Cass

7,377 651

Castro

2,618 678

Chambers

13,072 1,027

Cherokee

14,519 640

Childress

2,445 691

Clay

1,384 679

Cochran

756 729

Coke

665 612

Coleman

2,046 560

Collin

366,863 1,126

Collingsworth

867 702

Colorado

7,004 711

Comal

49,449 766

Comanche

3,709 606

Concho

864 719

Cooke

15,533 834

Coryell

15,677 685

Cottle

366 595

Crane

1,410 1,101

Crockett

1,831 827

Crosby

1,485 628

Culberson

1,226 724

Dallam

4,516 780

Dallas

1,616,750 1,157

Dawson

4,346 710

De Witt

8,077 782

Deaf Smith

7,613 717

Delta

1,438 399

Denton

221,444 885

Dickens

438 639

Dimmit

5,896 963

Donley

949 603

Duval

3,321 783

Eastland

7,242 831

Ector

72,015 1,037

Edwards

370 621

El Paso

292,002 698

Ellis

47,127 778

Erath

16,045 631

Falls

3,133 664

Fannin

7,166 726

Fayette

9,230 728

Fisher

875 702

Floyd

1,568 641

Foard

319 492

Fort Bend

170,571 949

Franklin

2,948 730

Freestone

5,466 877

Frio

6,743 881

Gaines

6,520 841

Galveston

102,818 853

Garza

1,815 735

Gillespie

10,004 683

Glasscock

587 824

Goliad

1,246 661

Gonzales

7,166 755

Gray

8,483 858

Grayson

44,640 765

Gregg

76,124 846

Grimes

7,704 837

Guadalupe

34,409 775

Hale

12,106 654

Hall

804 609

Hamilton

2,485 640

Hansford

2,208 913

Hardeman

1,147 622

Hardin

12,981 763

Harris

2,287,613 1,240

Harrison

24,428 903

Hartley

2,532 710

Haskell

1,695 652

Hays

61,062 721

Hemphill

2,132 1,028

Henderson

16,126 637

Hidalgo

243,945 624

Hill

9,504 733

Hockley

9,901 905

Hood

16,049 818

Hopkins

12,490 692

Houston

6,666 843

Howard

12,666 847

Hudspeth

1,209 1,086

Hunt

27,822 915

Hutchinson

8,719 1,070

Irion

677 991

Jack

3,243 1,053

Jackson

5,691 784

Jasper

10,290 715

Jeff Davis

968 591

Jefferson

123,081 1,003

Jim Hogg

1,830 714

Jim Wells

18,156 790

Johnson

44,621 786

Jones

3,338 704

Karnes

5,675 944

Kaufman

29,155 739

Kendall

14,188 852

Kenedy

578 1,080

Kent

294 637

Kerr

17,800 763

Kimble

1,298 581

King

119 1,331

Kinney

776 845

Kleberg

12,151 698

Knox

1,205 791

La Salle

3,195 1,117

Lamar

20,273 762

Lamb

3,789 691

Lampasas

4,689 611

Lavaca

5,579 687

Lee

7,079 842

Leon

5,391 901

Liberty

16,697 759

Limestone

7,861 711

Lipscomb

1,255 745

Live Oak

4,323 920

Llano

4,628 666

Loving

53 909

Lubbock

135,011 779

Lynn

1,307 699

Madison

5,392 700

Marion

1,985 560

Martin

1,848 877

Mason

1,069 565

Matagorda

11,088 919

Maverick

17,403 615

McCulloch

2,901 713

McLennan

108,057 792

McMullen

636 1,040

Medina

9,439 664

Menard

422 495

Midland

86,757 1,177

Milam

5,780 872

Mills

1,379 617

Mitchell

2,205 792

Montague

5,221 739

Montgomery

165,309 957

Moore

10,814 816

Morris

4,139 768

Motley

309 490

Nacogdoches

22,173 685

Navarro

16,554 706

Newton

1,560 578

Nolan

6,117 761

Nueces

162,970 861

Ochiltree

5,136 901

Oldham

1,049 823

Orange

22,749 896

Palo Pinto

8,357 740

Panola

9,421 828

Parker

32,481 831

Parmer

5,676 808

Pecos

5,955 818

Polk

10,496 712

Potter

79,076 804

Presidio

2,197 725

Rains

1,765 582

Randall

29,314 749

Reagan

1,960 1,011

Real

767 498

Red River

2,505 617

Reeves

4,284 768

Refugio

2,405 796

Roberts

287 707

Robertson

3,928 780

Rockwall

26,259 772

Runnels

2,805 652

Rusk

13,503 788

Sabine

2,254 662

San Augustine

1,515 692

San Jacinto

1,972 639

San Patricio

19,049 863

San Saba

1,609 583

Schleicher

932 752

Scurry

7,855 952

Shackelford

1,416 998

Shelby

8,529 704

Sherman

1,053 738

Smith

100,197 810

Somervell

3,996 1,019

Starr

14,882 564

Stephens

3,177 703

Sterling

671 763

Stonewall

529 632

Sutton

2,071 1,167

Swisher

1,914 620

Tarrant

844,890 967

Taylor

60,372 747

Terrell

416 1,060

Terry

3,705 738

Throckmorton

473 676

Titus

15,422 682

Tom Green

47,442 757

Travis

692,423 1,122

Trinity

2,426 620

Tyler

3,883 654

Upshur

6,915 692

Upton

1,726 1,116

Uvalde

10,066 645

Val Verde

17,114 695

Van Zandt

10,379 634

Victoria

41,643 840

Walker

23,827 734

Waller

15,805 813

Ward

4,799 1,012

Washington

14,849 722

Webb

97,696 658

Wharton

15,705 708

Wheeler

2,515 735

Wichita

53,018 714

Wilbarger

6,046 679

Willacy

3,535 643

Williamson

150,801 937

Wilson

7,642 664

Winkler

2,535 1,026

Wise

20,440 869

Wood

9,676 672

Yoakum

4,219 989

Young

6,874 736

Zapata

3,856 910

Zavala

2,684 535

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

United States (2)

140,442.2 1.9 $974 -- 2.6 --

Alabama

1,893.6 1.2 830 34 1.8 40

Alaska

346.4 0.4 1,041 9 2.2 34

Arizona

2,613.9 2.9 889 24 1.5 42

Arkansas

1,193.4 1.9 756 48 2.6 22

California

16,474.4 3.0 1,134 5 3.4 6

Colorado

2,513.0 2.9 1,006 12 2.4 30

Connecticut

1,668.3 0.2 1,147 4 2.0 38

Delaware

436.3 2.1 963 15 0.3 48

District of Columbia

743.6 1.4 1,667 1 2.3 33

Florida

8,023.2 3.5 852 31 3.1 10

Georgia

4,171.1 2.8 916 22 2.8 19

Hawaii

635.4 1.4 896 23 3.1 10

Idaho

680.3 3.3 736 50 2.1 37

Illinois

5,888.6 1.3 1,020 10 3.9 3

Indiana

2,971.7 1.6 818 39 2.4 30

Iowa

1,535.9 0.4 823 38 3.0 14

Kansas

1,370.9 0.6 809 41 1.8 40

Kentucky

1,852.5 1.4 804 42 2.9 18

Louisiana

1,926.3 -0.2 858 30 0.7 47

Maine

609.7 0.7 779 46 3.3 7

Maryland

2,607.8 1.3 1,067 8 2.4 30

Massachusetts

3,446.9 1.4 1,197 2 3.0 14

Michigan

4,203.0 1.6 921 20 2.7 20

Minnesota

2,800.7 1.4 990 14 2.6 22

Mississippi

1,118.9 1.2 706 51 1.3 43

Missouri

2,737.9 1.9 846 32 2.2 34

Montana

457.9 1.9 759 47 3.7 4

Nebraska

964.0 1.4 811 40 4.2 2

Nevada

1,254.5 3.2 862 29 2.5 27

New Hampshire

642.8 1.5 952 18 2.7 20

New Jersey

3,933.9 1.4 1,116 6 2.6 22

New Mexico

809.2 0.6 798 43 1.3 43

New York

9,065.4 1.8 1,180 3 3.1 10

North Carolina

4,194.1 2.5 863 28 3.0 14

North Dakota

438.0 -3.8 956 17 -2.3 51

Ohio

5,282.7 1.2 878 25 1.9 39

Oklahoma

1,598.0 0.2 825 37 0.0 49

Oregon

1,812.8 3.0 924 19 4.4 1

Pennsylvania

5,722.1 0.8 961 16 2.5 27

Rhode Island

477.4 1.2 919 21 2.6 22

South Carolina

1,959.7 2.9 788 44 2.6 22

South Dakota

419.5 0.9 756 48 3.1 10

Tennessee

2,850.6 2.7 864 27 3.2 8

Texas

11,681.0 2.1 999 13 1.1 45

Utah

1,353.9 3.7 829 35 3.2 8

Vermont

308.2 0.5 829 35 3.0 14

Virginia

3,759.7 2.5 1,014 11 2.5 27

Washington

3,187.6 2.5 1,111 7 2.2 34

West Virginia

702.4 -1.1 785 45 0.9 46

Wisconsin

2,815.7 0.9 834 33 3.5 5

Wyoming

287.4 -1.5 866 26 -1.1 50

Puerto Rico

891.1 -0.7 512 (3) 1.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

36.8 -2.1 738 (3) 2.1 (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: Monday, March 21, 2016