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17-403-PHI
Monday, April 03, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in West Virginia – Third Quarter 2016

Employment decreased 1.3 percent in West Virginia’s only large county, Kanawha, from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that Kanawha County was among the 33 large counties in the U.S. in which employment declined over the year. Nationally, employment increased 1.7 percent, as 307 of the 344 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Kanawha County ranked 334th in the nation for employment change. (See table 1.)

Nationally, York, S.C., recorded the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 6.0 percent over the year. Midland, Texas, registered the largest over-the-year employment decline among the largest U.S. counties, down 5.8 percent.

Employment in Kanawha County stood at 101,538 in September 2016, accounting for 14.7 percent of West Virginia’s total employment. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 54 counties in West Virginia with employment levels below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The average weekly wage in Kanawha County increased 6.5 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. Kanawha County placed in the top third of the national ranking for wage growth (90th), with a wage increase higher than the 5.4-percent national average.

Nationally, 339 of the 344 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., had the largest wage gain, up 12.2 percent from the third quarter of 2015. Manatee, Fla., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by Hillsborough, N.H., at 10.4 percent and Elkhart, Ind., at 10.3 percent.

Of the 344 largest counties, 5 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-14.9 percent), followed by Lafayette, La.; Benton, Ark.; Lake, Ill.; and Midland, Texas. Kanawha County reported average weekly wages of $890, below the national average of $1,027 for the third quarter 2016, and ranked 224th among the 344 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 103 large counties registered average weekly wages equal to or above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest average weekly wage at $2,260. San Mateo, Calif., was second ($2,098), followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892).

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (241) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($632), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($636) and Hidalgo ($654). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than a third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Large county average weekly wages

Kanawha County reported average weekly wages of $839, below the national average of $974 for the third quarter 2015, and ranked 228th among the 342 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 100 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest average weekly wage at $2,090. San Mateo, Calif., was second ($1,894), followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,829).

Seventy one percent of the largest U.S. counties (242) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($598), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($615) and Hidalgo ($624). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than a third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, Calif.

Average weekly wages in West Virginia's smaller counties

All 54 counties in West Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,027. Among these smaller counties, Marshall had the highest average weekly wage at $975, while Summers had the lowest at $561. (See table 2.)

When all 55 counties in West Virginia were considered, all had average weekly wages below the national average. Five reported average weekly wages under $600, 14 reported wages from $600 to $699, 22 reported wages from $700 to $799, 10 reported wages of $800 to $899, and 4 reported wages of $900 or higher. (See chart 1.)

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 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.


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 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 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 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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the top 10 U.S. large counties ranked by average weekly wage and the largest county in West Virginia, third quarter 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.51.7-$1,027-5.4-

Santa Clara, Calif.

1,052.52.7872,26019.015

San Mateo, Calif.

395.32.7872,09828.916

San Francisco, Calif.

709.53.1581,89238.620

New York, N.Y.

2,411.91.61831,87942.6323

Washington, D.C.

759.21.71771,72853.8292

Suffolk, Mass.

665.93.6401,66066.1125

Arlington, Va.

173.01.32161,64873.8292

King, Wash.

1,331.33.3511,58288.124

Middlesex, Mass.

889.41.61831,55599.88

Fairfax, Va.

598.11.71771,546105.6168

Kanawha, W.Va.

101.5-1.33348902246.590

Footnotes:
(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 West Virginia, third quarter 2016
AreaEmployment September 2016Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452$1,027

West Virginia

691,532816

Barbour

3,368679

Berkeley

33,015781

Boone

4,753789

Braxton

3,991633

Brooke

8,134732

Cabell

51,959810

Calhoun

1,279893

Clay

1,468582

Doddridge

1,484850

Fayette

11,139653

Gilmer

2,008741

Grant

3,471791

Greenbrier

13,313676

Hampshire

4,087589

Hancock

9,897703

Hardy

6,016650

Harrison

35,503906

Jackson

7,899749

Jefferson

16,074800

Kanawha

101,538890

Lewis

6,220778

Lincoln

2,639716

Logan

9,782771

McDowell

4,224720

Marion

18,342785

Marshall

10,189975

Mason

5,575799

Mercer

19,971679

Mineral

7,888753

Mingo

4,587784

Monongalia

56,174952

Monroe

2,006738

Morgan

2,738618

Nicholas

6,857651

Ohio

29,036800

Pendleton

1,505576

Pleasants

2,864875

Pocahontas

3,004618

Preston

7,419737

Putnam

20,810933

Raleigh

31,109755

Randolph

11,828634

Ritchie

3,428724

Roane

3,025631

Summers

2,300561

Taylor

3,356738

Tucker

2,677683

Tyler

2,344896

Upshur

7,563706

Wayne

8,263804

Webster

1,790647

Wetzel

4,593600

Wirt

579570

Wood

36,621755

Wyoming

4,380806

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.
 

Note: 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 2016
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2015-16National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,940.51.71027--5.4--

Alabama

1,923.81.5870364.938

Alaska

337.4-2.61055121.249

Arizona

2,695.53.1950246.95

Arkansas

1,205.41.0794485.232

California

16,871.12.4121046.78

Colorado

2,576.52.61062105.623

Connecticut

1,674.20.312045534

Delaware

440.70.81022165.623

District of Columbia

759.21.7172813.845

Florida

8,320.23.7905296.214

Georgia

4,290.42.9969215.918

Hawaii

648.41.8956236.78

Idaho

703.73.5782506.312

Illinois

5,933.60.61062104.440

Indiana

3,025.91.8866375.918

Iowa

1,548.60.8873356.214

Kansas

1,377.20.5857395.918

Kentucky

1,880.21.5857396.510

Louisiana

1,908.8-0.9883322.948

Maine

616.20.9825455.918

Maryland

2,648.11.4112485.330

Massachusetts

3,522.92.0127726.87

Michigan

4,292.22.1976195.918

Minnesota

2,849.51.61053136.411

Mississippi

1,126.90.7739514.739

Missouri

2,782.11.688830534

Montana

464.51.5792494.341

Nebraska

973.90.9857395.526

Nevada

1,300.73.89492510.11

New Hampshire

655.01.81027157.92

New Jersey

4,000.01.811737534

New Mexico

811.50.283044443

New York

9,216.61.6122233.546

North Carolina

4,290.32.3909285.330

North Dakota

423.2-3.4964220.750

Ohio

5,347.31.1924265.427

Oklahoma

1,578.7-1.3854423.546

Oregon

1,866.52.6970205.232

Pennsylvania

5,776.71.01013175.427

Rhode Island

481.10.8990187.63

South Carolina

2,008.62.5832435.623

South Dakota

424.21.18094774

Tennessee

2,918.82.5912275.427

Texas

11,830.71.31042144.341

Utah

1,407.43.8881336.312

Vermont

309.90.5880346.214

Virginia

3,801.01.010639534

Washington

3,278.93.0118866.95

West Virginia

691.5-1.6816463.944

Wisconsin

2,850.11.0885316.214

Wyoming

274.8-4.786538051

Puerto Rico

888.2-0.4524(3)2.3(3)

Virgin Islands

37.41.4778(3)5.9(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.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, April 03, 2017