For Release: Thursday, January 08, 2015

15-5-PHI

MID-ATLANTIC INFORMATION OFFICE: Philadelphia, Pa.
Technical information: (215) 597-3282 BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.gov www.bls.gov/regions/mid-atlantic
Media contact: (215) 861-5600 BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

County Employment and Wages in the District of Columbia – Second Quarter 2014

Local Employment Growth Slower than that for the Nation

The average weekly wage in Washington, D.C., declined 1.1 percent from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 2.1 percent over the year, as 312 of the largest 339 counties had 12-month increases. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2013 annual average employment.) Over-the-year weekly wage growth in Washington, D.C., placed 334th among the nation’s 339 large counties. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the weekly wage in Washington, D.C., ranked fifth-highest in the nation in the second quarter of 2014, at $1,569. Nationally, weekly wages averaged $940.

Washington, D.C., reported a 1.8-percent increase in employment from June 2013 to June 2014. Nationally, employment rose 2.0 percent during this 12-month period as 305 of the largest 339 U.S. counties gained jobs. Washington’s percent growth in employment ranked 152nd, placing it in the top half among the nation’s 339 largest counties. Employment in Washington, D.C., totaled 732,600 in June 2014.

Large county wage changes

Among the 339 largest U.S. counties, Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages (9.0 percent), followed by the counties of Douglas, Colo. (8.8 percent); Hillsborough, N.H. (7.4 percent); and Collier, Fla. (6.8 percent).

Twenty-two large counties nationwide experienced over-the-year declines in average weekly wages, led by Williamson, Texas, with a loss of 2.7 percent. Westchester, N.Y., (-1.6 percent) had the second-largest decline, followed by Lake, Ind., and Bibb, Ga., down 1.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively.  Two counties, Washington, D.C., and Chittenden, Vt., each down 1.1 percent, tied for the fourth-largest percent decrease in average weekly wages. The decline in average weekly wages in Washington, D.C., was largely due to a pay period effect in federal government wages. For more information see the Technical Note.

Large county average weekly wages

AAcross the United States, average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 109 of the largest 339 counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $1,886. San Mateo, Calif., was second with an average weekly wage of $1,740, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,732), San Francisco, Calif. ($1,593), Washington, D.C. ($1,569), and Arlington, Va. ($1,516).

Three of the 10 counties with the highest wages in the United States were located in the Washington metropolitan area (Arlington, Va.; Fairfax, Va.; and Washington, D.C.), and two were in the New York metropolitan area (Fairfield, Conn., and New York, N.Y.). Three other top-paying counties were located in or around the San Francisco metropolitan area (San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, Calif.). Rounding out the top 10 were Suffolk and Middlesex, Mass., which were located in the Boston metropolitan area. (See table 1.)

There were 230 large counties with an average weekly wage below the national average in the second quarter of 2014. The lowest average weekly wage was reported in Horry, S.C. ($548), followed by Cameron, Texas ($585), Hidalgo, Texas ($608), Yakima, Wash. ($638), and Lake, Fla. ($645).

Additional statistics and other information

QCEW data for states have been included in this release in table 2. 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 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 second quarter 2013 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/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2012/home.htm. The 2014 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2015.

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 9.4 million employer reports cover 137.8 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.

Wages measured by QCEW may be subject to periodic and sometimes large fluctuations.   This variability may be due to calendar effects resulting from some quarters having more pay dates than others. The effect is most visible in counties with a dominant employer. In particular, this effect has been observed in counties where government employers represent a large fraction of overall employment. Similar calendar effects can result from private sector pay practices. However, these effects are typically less pronounced for two reasons: employment is less concentrated in a single private employer, and private employers use a variety of pay period types (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly).

For example, the effect on over-the-year pay comparisons can be pronounced in federal government due to the uniform nature of federal payroll processing. Most federal employees are paid on a biweekly pay schedule. As a result, in some quarters federal wages include six pay dates, while in other quarters there are seven pay dates. Over-the-year comparisons of average weekly wages may also reflect this calendar effect. Growth in average weekly wages may be attributed, in part, to a comparison of quarterly wages for the current year, which include seven pay dates, with year-ago wages that reflect only six pay dates. An opposite effect will occur when wages in the current quarter reflecting six pay dates are compared with year-ago wages for a quarter including seven pay dates.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the top 10 counties ranked by average weekly wage, second quarter 2014
Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the top 10 counties ranked by average weekly wage, second quarter 2014
Area(1)EmploymentAverage weekly wage(2)
June 2014 (thousands)Percent change, June 2013-14(3)Average weekly wageNational Ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2013-14(3)National Ranking by percent change
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
- ContinuedNote: See footnotes at end of table.

United States(4)

137,776.42.0$940--2.1--

Santa Clara, Calif.

978.44.01,88614.220

San Mateo, Calif.

372.64.71,74026.65

New York, N.Y.

2,492.52.71,73233.058

San Francisco, Calif.

638.54.31,59345.013

Washington, D.C.

732.61.81,5695-1.1334

Arlington, Va.

165.4-1.41,5166-0.6330

Suffolk, Mass.

619.51.51,46373.729

Fairfax, Va.

588.4-0.31,45780.7276

Fairfield, Conn.

425.61.11,45591.5205

Middlesex, Mass.

861.81.51,386101.1249

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

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

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

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

Table 2. Covered employment and wages by state, second quarter 2014
Table 2. Covered employment and wages by state, second quarter 2014
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2014 (thousands)Percent change, June 2013-14Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2013-14National ranking by percent change
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
- ContinuedNote: See footnotes at end of table.

United States (2)

137,776.42.0$940--2.1--

Alabama

1,872.90.7806361.638

Alaska

344.90.51,01484.62

Arizona

2,486.01.9888211.343

Arkansas

1,168.11.5745471.541

California

15,905.62.81,07262.415

Colorado

2,439.33.4960142.98

Connecticut

1,676.60.61,15532.513

Delaware

429.02.5976111.244

District of Columbia

732.61.01,5691-0.551

Florida

7,628.63.1839282.123

Georgia

4,036.33.1882221.735

Hawaii

624.61.1845262.710

Idaho

659.22.5697512.222

Illinois

5,836.91.5988101.932

Indiana

2,916.91.8784421.244

Iowa

1,547.81.6780433.07

Kansas

1,372.81.7797382.320

Kentucky

1,820.81.7798372.027

Louisiana

1,921.61.4843272.415

Maine

610.40.8746462.123

Maryland

2,594.40.91,02071.638

Massachusetts

3,407.01.41,15822.415

Michigan

4,164.72.3897202.320

Minnesota

2,782.01.3947161.932

Mississippi

1,101.10.5705502.027

Missouri

2,703.21.3818311.932

Montana

453.41.1734482.415

Nebraska

956.21.4756452.710

Nevada

1,210.13.4833300.650

New Hampshire

637.21.2955154.33

New Jersey

3,944.80.81,09751.244

New Mexico

801.00.6794401.735

New York

8,965.21.81,14642.415

North Carolina

4,080.72.4818311.244

North Dakota

453.04.4936175.51

Ohio

5,233.81.4846252.123

Oklahoma

1,578.01.0816332.612

Oregon

1,748.42.4874232.98

Pennsylvania

5,719.81.0933181.638

Rhode Island

472.91.6898192.027

South Carolina

1,916.42.7765442.513

South Dakota

422.91.4712493.34

Tennessee

2,755.71.8836292.027

Texas

11,402.83.0973133.15

Utah

1,297.52.9796391.735

Vermont

307.01.0813350.749

Virginia

3,710.80.7976110.848

Washington

3,109.63.299092.123

West Virginia

711.3-0.3792411.442

Wisconsin

2,809.11.3816332.027

Wyoming

295.31.6871243.15

Puerto Rico

897.0-2.0504(3)0.6(3)

Virgin Islands

37.8-2.2728(3)2.8(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.

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.

 Chart 1.  Average weekly wages in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, second quarter 2014