News Release Information

15-362-DAL
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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County Employment and Wages in Texas – Third Quarter 2014

Employment rose in 25 of the 26 largest counties in Texas from September 2013 to September 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2013 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the rates of job growth in three Texas counties ranked in the top 10 nationwide. Midland County’s 7.4-percent job gain ranked second in the nation and Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties’ gains, each at 5.1 percent, ranked ninth. (See table 1.)

Employment nationwide advanced 2.0 percent from September 2013 to September 2014 as 306 of the 339 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Weld, Colo., recorded the fastest employment gain in the country, up 8.8 percent, while Atlantic, N.J., registered the largest decline, down 4.0 percent.

Among the largest counties in Texas, employment was highest in Harris County (2,269,500) in September 2014, followed by Dallas County (1,558,500). Three other counties, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, had employment levels exceeding 600,000. Together, the 26 largest Texas counties accounted for 80.1 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 339 largest counties made up 71.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014, average weekly wages nationwide increased 2.9 percent to $949. Among large counties in Texas, Brazoria registered the largest increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 7.1 percent, while Williamson recorded the only decrease, down 0.8 percent. (See table 1.) In the third quarter of 2014, Midland had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,256 and Cameron had the lowest at $603.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 228 counties in Texas with employment levels below 75,000 in 2013. Among these smaller counties, 195 had average weekly wages below the national average in September 2014. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Nineteen of Texas’s 26 large counties recorded wage growth above the 2.9-percent national increase from the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014. Wage growth in Brazoria (7.1 percent, 4th) and Midland (6.8 percent, 6th) placed in the top 10 nationwide. (See table 1.) Three other Texas counties registered wage growth ranking in the top 25 nationally: Montgomery and Nueces (5.5 percent each, 13th); and Jefferson (4.5 percent, 23rd).

Among the 339 largest U.S. counties, 328 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Olmsted, Minn., had the largest increase with a gain of 11.1 percent, followed by San Francisco, Calif. (8.6 percent) and Santa Clara, Calif. (7.4 percent). Wage decreases were recorded in 10 large counties nationwide, with the largest over-the-year loss in Collier, Fla., down 3.9 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 5 of the 26 large Texas counties were at least 10 percent above the national average of $949 per week in the third quarter of 2014. Midland County led at $1,256 per week and ranked 16th among the 339 large counties nationwide. Midland was followed by Harris ($1,238, 19th), Dallas ($1,141, 33rd), Collin ($1,097, 43rd), and Travis ($1,074, 47th). Four additional Texas counties reported average weekly wages above the national average: Jefferson ($969, 84th), Brazoria ($966, 87th), Fort Bend ($956, 93rd), and Montgomery ($954, 97th).

Texas had four of the lowest-paying large counties in the United States, all located along the border with Mexico: Cameron ($603, 338th), Hidalgo ($616, 337th), Webb ($653, 334th), and El Paso ($682, 328th). Other Texas counties that ranked in the bottom quintile were Brazos ($734, 316th), Lubbock ($764, 287th), and McLennan ($775, 276th).

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 99 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 $2,012. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,824, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,733), San Francisco, Calif. ($1,685), and Washington, D.C. ($1,631).

Of the largest counties in the United States, 237, 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 $580 per week, followed by the Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo. Wages in these three lowest-ranked counties were less than one-third of the average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in smaller Texas counties

Thirty-three of the 228 smaller Texas counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported average weekly wages above the national average of $949. Three of these smaller counties had wages that were also the highest in the state: Irion ($1,514), Sutton ($1,379), and Carson ($1,370). Delta County registered the lowest weekly wage, averaging $375 in the third quarter of 2014. (See table 2.)

When all 254 counties in Texas were considered, all but 42 had wages below the national average. Fifty-four reported average weekly wages under $650, 76 registered wages from $650 to $749, 52 had wages from $750 to $849, 30 had wages from $850 to $949, and 42 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 and the Texas Panhandle, as well as 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 2013 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 2014 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2013 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn13.htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2015.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2014 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 9.4 million employer reports cover 137.7 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.

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 26 largest counties in Texas, third quarter 2014
Area Employment Average Weekly Wage (1)
September
2014
(thousands)
Percent change,
September
2013-14 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter
2013-14 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

137,724.1 2.0 -- $949 -- 2.9 --

Texas

11,433.6 3.1 -- 988 11 3.8 6

Bell, Texas

111.2 -0.1 315 798 254 3.5 66

Bexar, Texas

796.4 2.6 102 854 186 3.3 81

Brazoria, Texas

99.4 2.6 102 966 87 7.1 4

Brazos, Texas

96.2 1.1 212 734 316 3.2 91

Cameron, Texas

133.5 1.0 228 603 338 3.1 103

Collin, Texas

346.4 3.2 65 1,097 43 2.0 231

Dallas, Texas

1,558.5 3.5 54 1,141 33 2.5 165

Denton, Texas

205.8 4.5 17 871 171 3.6 61

El Paso, Texas

283.4 0.4 282 682 328 2.4 183

Fort Bend, Texas

164.4 5.1 9 956 93 0.7 310

Galveston, Texas

101.0 2.8 86 824 222 2.1 223

Gregg, Texas

79.0 3.0 77 864 179 2.5 165

Harris, Texas

2,269.5 3.6 51 1,238 19 4.0 40

Hidalgo, Texas

237.9 2.6 102 616 337 3.5 66

Jefferson, Texas

124.0 4.6 16 969 84 4.5 23

Lubbock, Texas

131.5 2.2 128 764 287 3.7 55

McLennan, Texas

105.0 0.7 263 775 276 4.2 31

Midland, Texas

93.1 7.4 2 1,256 16 6.8 6

Montgomery, Texas

159.5 5.1 9 954 97 5.5 13

Nueces, Texas

164.1 3.4 57 860 180 5.5 13

Potter, Texas

77.3 0.5 276 802 246 3.4 74

Smith, Texas

96.9 1.7 162 818 231 3.9 44

Tarrant, Texas

825.6 1.9 147 944 107 3.9 44

Travis, Texas

658.1 3.9 36 1,074 47 3.7 55

Webb, Texas

95.0 2.4 113 653 334 3.3 81

Williamson, Texas

144.5 2.4 113 923 126 -0.8 337

(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 3rd quarter 2014
Area Employment
September
2014
Average
Weekly
Wage (1)

United States (2)

137,724,117 $949

Texas

11,433,567 988

Anderson

18,262 785

Andrews

7,818 1,166

Angelina

36,677 740

Aransas

6,483 682

Archer

1,884 731

Armstrong

387 594

Atascosa

13,743 884

Austin

10,061 865

Bailey

2,578 682

Bandera

3,110 678

Bastrop

15,595 668

Baylor

1,229 607

Bee

9,493 734

Bell

111,212 798

Bexar

796,421 854

Blanco

2,846 790

Borden

245 494

Bosque

3,792 646

Bowie

39,865 714

Brazoria

99,370 966

Brazos

96,202 734

Brewster

3,726 770

Briscoe

318 541

Brooks

2,712 786

Brown

15,196 664

Burleson

4,292 807

Burnet

13,453 737

Caldwell

8,133 685

Calhoun

11,596 1,120

Callahan

2,154 695

Cameron

133,512 603

Camp

4,044 673

Carson

4,445 1,370

Cass

7,224 652

Castro

2,612 661

Chambers

11,834 996

Cherokee

14,728 636

Childress

2,350 624

Clay

1,768 786

Cochran

768 725

Coke

644 593

Coleman

2,062 562

Collin

346,439 1,097

Collingsworth

838 707

Colorado

7,122 715

Comal

45,645 729

Comanche

3,625 587

Concho

825 681

Cooke

16,587 901

Coryell

14,833 619

Cottle

515 745

Crane

1,684 1,246

Crockett

1,834 805

Crosby

1,488 651

Culberson

1,196 612

Dallam

4,340 774

Dallas

1,558,479 1,141

Dawson

4,376 744

De Witt

7,934 794

Deaf Smith

7,470 717

Delta

1,424 375

Denton

205,795 871

Dickens

446 664

Dimmit

7,069 1,040

Donley

919 528

Duval

3,735 898

Eastland

7,605 873

Ector

78,399 1,096

Edwards

360 643

El Paso

283,435 682

Ellis

44,932 779

Erath

15,409 613

Falls

3,042 654

Fannin

6,829 715

Fayette

9,461 752

Fisher

849 677

Floyd

1,749 622

Foard

345 440

Fort Bend

164,366 956

Franklin

3,129 659

Freestone

5,956 869

Frio

7,574 1,042

Gaines

6,278 856

Galveston

100,960 824

Garza

1,944 782

Gillespie

9,824 645

Glasscock

469 687

Goliad

1,390 757

Gonzales

7,210 767

Gray

9,362 893

Grayson

43,668 750

Gregg

79,042 864

Grimes

8,386 897

Guadalupe

33,149 760

Hale

11,999 638

Hall

858 641

Hamilton

2,543 619

Hansford

2,285 953

Hardeman

1,145 592

Hardin

12,789 747

Harris

2,269,524 1,238

Harrison

24,898 922

Hartley

2,221 678

Haskell

1,738 620

Hays

58,244 699

Hemphill

2,540 1,004

Henderson

16,544 656

Hidalgo

237,854 616

Hill

9,603 727

Hockley

10,577 1,008

Hood

16,899 860

Hopkins

13,038 688

Houston

6,352 818

Howard

13,042 840

Hudspeth

1,111 1,037

Hunt

27,486 814

Hutchinson

9,817 1,113

Irion

772 1,514

Jack

3,683 1,072

Jackson

6,013 782

Jasper

10,831 725

Jeff Davis

970 576

Jefferson

124,015 969

Jim Hogg

2,039 1,032

Jim Wells

20,392 944

Johnson

45,264 810

Jones

3,867 750

Karnes

5,750 952

Kaufman

27,780 711

Kendall

12,817 817

Kenedy

781 1,148

Kent

277 637

Kerr

17,381 725

Kimble

1,356 608

King

111 1,142

Kinney

824 822

Kleberg

13,220 705

Knox

1,178 1,119

La Salle

3,756 1,086

Lamar

19,413 738

Lamb

4,356 656

Lampasas

4,509 607

Lavaca

5,626 682

Lee

7,052 889

Leon

5,810 936

Liberty

17,045 783

Limestone

8,410 705

Lipscomb

1,255 775

Live Oak

4,728 813

Llano

4,334 640

Loving

55 680

Lubbock

131,511 764

Lynn

1,300 680

Madison

5,012 649

Marion

1,978 563

Martin

1,713 913

Mason

1,062 555

Matagorda

10,365 900

Maverick

16,883 622

McCulloch

3,211 788

McLennan

104,966 775

McMullen

762 1,012

Medina

9,527 658

Menard

420 493

Midland

93,138 1,256

Milam

5,710 848

Mills

1,323 593

Mitchell

2,404 775

Montague

5,608 795

Montgomery

159,540 954

Moore

10,599 785

Morris

4,597 911

Motley

289 460

Nacogdoches

22,008 659

Navarro

16,768 653

Newton

1,591 549

Nolan

6,148 750

Nueces

164,069 860

Ochiltree

5,519 966

Oldham

1,027 796

Orange

22,519 896

Palo Pinto

8,637 774

Panola

10,510 898

Parker

33,032 848

Parmer

5,531 712

Pecos

6,010 877

Polk

10,734 670

Potter

77,346 802

Presidio

2,305 709

Rains

1,822 553

Randall

28,921 717

Reagan

2,299 1,043

Real

698 464

Red River

2,410 594

Reeves

4,362 797

Refugio

2,704 801

Roberts

205 629

Robertson

3,902 759

Rockwall

24,592 738

Runnels

2,940 680

Rusk

15,044 849

Sabine

2,234 635

San Augustine

1,527 668

San Jacinto

2,065 629

San Patricio

19,661 825

San Saba

1,540 556

Schleicher

1,027 800

Scurry

8,503 1,096

Shackelford

1,694 1,193

Shelby

8,496 699

Sherman

1,035 691

Smith

96,863 818

Somervell

4,200 1,012

Starr

14,824 547

Stephens

3,390 753

Sterling

700 774

Stonewall

556 704

Sutton

2,520 1,379

Swisher

1,952 596

Tarrant

825,621 944

Taylor

59,954 745

Terrell

410 944

Terry

3,875 761

Throckmorton

501 720

Titus

15,415 658

Tom Green

46,974 750

Travis

658,080 1,074

Trinity

2,384 608

Tyler

3,986 631

Upshur

6,825 686

Upton

1,898 1,149

Uvalde

9,776 611

Val Verde

16,744 697

Van Zandt

9,941 619

Victoria

41,750 855

Walker

24,012 709

Waller

16,066 858

Ward

4,948 1,087

Washington

15,287 717

Webb

94,976 653

Wharton

15,653 718

Wheeler

2,777 712

Wichita

52,832 706

Wilbarger

6,057 713

Willacy

3,991 669

Williamson

144,513 923

Wilson

7,499 647

Winkler

2,777 1,059

Wise

22,353 942

Wood

9,347 657

Yoakum

4,485 1,088

Young

7,179 741

Zapata

4,880 1,012

Zavala

2,457 510

(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 2014
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2014 (thousands) Percent change, September 2013-14 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2013-14 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

137,724.1 2.0 $949 -- 2.9 --

Alabama

1,871.2 1.3 815 34 2.5 30

Alaska

344.7 -0.1 1,019 9 3.0 19

Arizona

2,539.6 1.8 876 24 2.0 40

Arkansas

1,170.9 1.3 737 47 1.8 44

California

16,013.4 3.1 1,095 5 3.7 7

Colorado

2,443.0 3.7 982 12 3.0 19

Connecticut

1,663.2 0.8 1,124 4 1.4 49

Delaware

426.1 1.9 961 16 2.2 37

District of Columbia

732.9 0.8 1,631 1 4.5 2

Florida

7,748.4 3.3 826 32 2.1 38

Georgia

4,059.0 3.4 891 21 2.8 23

Hawaii

625.1 0.9 870 25 3.9 4

Idaho

658.4 2.1 721 50 2.6 26

Illinois

5,807.4 1.2 982 12 2.5 30

Indiana

2,924.7 1.4 799 39 1.9 42

Iowa

1,528.8 1.1 800 38 3.6 10

Kansas

1,363.1 1.2 794 40 2.3 35

Kentucky

1,827.8 1.8 781 42 2.5 30

Louisiana

1,928.3 1.7 852 27 3.1 16

Maine

604.5 0.3 754 46 2.6 26

Maryland

2,574.5 1.1 1,042 8 3.1 16

Massachusetts

3,386.7 1.8 1,164 2 3.0 19

Michigan

4,141.0 1.7 896 19 2.4 33

Minnesota

2,757.9 1.1 965 15 2.9 22

Mississippi

1,105.0 0.5 697 51 1.3 50

Missouri

2,686.4 1.0 828 31 2.7 25

Montana

449.5 0.7 732 49 3.7 7

Nebraska

950.0 1.1 779 43 1.8 44

Nevada

1,215.8 4.0 840 28 0.5 51

New Hampshire

633.5 1.4 927 18 3.6 10

New Jersey

3,880.4 0.8 1,087 6 1.7 47

New Mexico

804.0 1.1 786 41 2.6 26

New York

8,902.1 2.0 1,145 3 3.2 15

North Carolina

4,085.5 1.9 839 29 2.8 23

North Dakota

455.9 4.3 977 14 6.1 1

Ohio

5,219.1 1.4 863 26 3.1 16

Oklahoma

1,592.3 1.0 826 32 3.6 10

Oregon

1,752.8 2.4 887 22 3.6 10

Pennsylvania

5,676.2 1.0 937 17 2.6 26

Rhode Island

471.8 1.4 895 20 1.8 44

South Carolina

1,902.7 2.4 768 45 2.4 33

South Dakota

415.8 1.7 733 48 3.7 7

Tennessee

2,775.5 2.4 837 30 2.1 38

Texas

11,433.6 3.1 988 11 3.8 6

Utah

1,304.7 3.1 803 37 1.5 48

Vermont

306.5 1.2 805 36 2.3 35

Virginia

3,667.9 0.6 989 10 2.0 40

Washington

3,112.8 3.2 1,087 6 3.9 4

West Virginia

709.3 -0.2 778 44 3.5 14

Wisconsin

2,783.1 1.1 808 35 1.9 42

Wyoming

291.3 1.7 877 23 4.4 3

Puerto Rico

896.7 -1.5 505 (3) 0.8 (3)

Virgin Islands

37.5 -1.0 720 (3) 2.0 (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.



 Chart 1. Average weekly wages by county in Texas, third quarter 2014

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015