Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

18-464-PHI
Monday, March 19, 2018

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

County Employment and Wages in West Virginia – Third Quarter 2017

Employment decreased 1.4 percent in West Virginia’s only large county, Kanawha, from September 2016 to September 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2016 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that Kanawha County was among the 60 large counties in the U.S. in which employment declined over the year.Nationally, employment increased 1.0 percent, as 283 of the 346 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Kanawha County ranked 333rd in the nation for employment change. (See table 1.)

Nationally, Midland, Texas, recorded the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 10.4 percent over the year. Collier, Fla., registered the largest over-the-year employment decline among the largest U.S. counties, down 5.2 percent.

Employment in Kanawha County stood at 99,955 in September 2017, accounting for 14.4 percent of West Virginia’s total employment. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.7 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 53 of these smaller counties were below the national average of $1,021 in the third quarter of 2017—Marshall County had wages of $1,025. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The average weekly wage in Kanawha County decreased 1.1 percent from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. Kanawha County placed in the top half of the national ranking for wage change (168th). Kanawha’s decrease in average weekly wages was larger than the 0.6-percent national average decline.

Nationally, 265 of the 346 largest counties registered over-the-year wage decreases. Mercer, N.J., had the largest wage decline, down 8.8 percent from the third quarter of 2016. Wyandotte, Kan., was second with a wage decrease of 6.0 percent, followed by Clark, Nev., at 5.3 percent and Somerset, N.J., at 5.0 percent.

Of the 346 largest counties, 71 experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages (8.4 percent), followed by Union, N.J.; Elkhart, Ind.; Forsyth, N.C.; and Maui + Kalawao, Hawaii. Kanawha County reported average weekly wages of $880, below the national average of $1,021 for the third quarter 2017, and ranked 227th among the 346 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 96 large counties registered average weekly wages equal to or above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2017. Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest average weekly wage at $2,320. San Mateo, Calif., was second ($2,123), followed by San Francisco, Calif. ($1,954).

Seventy-two percent of the largest U.S. counties (250) reported weekly wages below the national average. Cameron County, Texas, reported the lowest wage ($612), followed by the counties of Horry, S.C. ($633) and Hidalgo, Texas ($649). 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

Most of the 54 counties in West Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,021. Among these smaller counties, Marshall had the highest average weekly wage at $1,025 (the only one above the U.S. average), while Clay had the lowest at $559. (See table 2.)

When all 55 counties in West Virginia were considered, only Marshall had average weekly wages above the national average. Five reported average weekly wages under $600, 14 reported wages from $600 to $699, 22 reported wages from $700 to $799, 9 reported wages of $800 to $899, and 5 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 2016 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 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.


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 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 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands)Percent change, September 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

144,464.41.0-$1,021--0.6-

Santa Clara, Calif.

1,077.22.2522,32012.613

San Mateo, Calif.

400.21.31142,12321.132

San Francisco, Calif.

722.32.4421,95433.28

New York, N.Y.

2,451.91.11451,88940.552

Washington, D.C.

764.70.71921,75951.327

Suffolk, Mass.

675.00.91671,69161.717

Arlington, Va.

176.00.91671,6427-0.4103

King, Wash.

1,367.12.8281,62682.712

Fairfax, Va.

603.00.71921,5409-0.6121

Middlesex, Mass.

904.11.6801,49810-3.7330

Kanawha, W.Va.

100.0-1.4333880227-1.1168

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, 3rd quarter 2017
AreaEmployment September 2017Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

144,464,425$1,021

West Virginia

693,983826

Barbour

3,343685

Berkeley

34,153757

Boone

4,854812

Braxton

3,923629

Brooke

7,902722

Cabell

52,432799

Calhoun

1,198755

Clay

1,404559

Doddridge

1,696920

Fayette

11,057654

Gilmer

1,997721

Grant

3,332764

Greenbrier

13,181691

Hampshire

3,960603

Hancock

9,562720

Hardy

6,009611

Harrison

36,495910

Jackson

7,913748

Jefferson

15,518813

Kanawha

99,955880

Lewis

5,999788

Lincoln

2,516683

Logan

9,722797

McDowell

4,528788

Marion

18,574796

Marshall

10,7151,025

Mason

5,518810

Mercer

19,589701

Mineral

7,933747

Mingo

5,257822

Monongalia

57,263972

Monroe

1,988742

Morgan

2,734621

Nicholas

7,117639

Ohio

28,217816

Pendleton

1,453560

Pleasants

2,717860

Pocahontas

2,953608

Preston

7,526739

Putnam

20,131924

Raleigh

31,248762

Randolph

11,440645

Ritchie

3,248739

Roane

2,868668

Summers

2,274560

Taylor

3,288765

Tucker

2,571687

Tyler

2,107879

Upshur

7,379709

Wayne

8,500758

Webster

1,773648

Wetzel

4,551590

Wirt

541577

Wood

35,611771

Wyoming

4,278802

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 2017
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2017 (thousands)Percent change, September 2016-17Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2016-17National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

144,464.41.0$1,021---0.6--

Alabama

1,941.10.885937-1.338

Alaska

335.4-0.71,02515-2.850

Arizona

2,760.12.494824-0.210

Arkansas

1,213.00.678849-0.619

California

17,153.41.71,21540.54

Colorado

2,625.91.91,06790.54

Connecticut

1,676.30.11,1796-2.247

Delaware

443.00.41,026140.46

District of Columbia

764.70.71,75911.32

Florida

8,305.8-0.289629-1.131

Georgia

4,343.51.396121-0.927

Hawaii

652.50.495322-0.313

Idaho

722.32.777850-0.516

Illinois

5,969.60.51,05710-0.313

Indiana

3,044.00.686136-0.619

Iowa

1,546.1-0.285538-2.247

Kansas

1,376.4-0.183941-2.146

Kentucky

1,890.40.583742-2.449

Louisiana

1,904.3-0.186933-1.742

Maine

621.90.782146-0.516

Maryland

2,661.80.51,1058-1.742

Massachusetts

3,568.00.91,2652-0.927

Michigan

4,334.30.996420-1.131

Minnesota

2,883.01.11,03013-2.045

Mississippi

1,129.1-0.172951-1.439

Missouri

2,805.80.987831-1.234

Montana

468.60.9793480.18

Nebraska

973.3-0.285039-0.823

Nevada

1,337.72.991426-3.851

New Hampshire

659.10.61,02216-0.415

New Jersey

4,043.61.11,1567-1.541

New Mexico

816.00.382345-0.823

New York

9,329.81.21,2193-0.210

North Carolina

4,348.01.390427-0.721

North Dakota

419.2-1.095322-1.234

Ohio

5,383.60.692025-0.823

Oklahoma

1,593.30.784340-1.234

Oregon

1,905.31.896919-0.19

Pennsylvania

5,836.51.01,00217-1.131

Rhode Island

484.50.897318-1.844

South Carolina

2,027.20.882843-0.516

South Dakota

426.20.480347-0.721

Tennessee

2,953.31.190328-1.234

Texas

12,008.91.41,03212-1.029

Utah

1,444.12.687930-0.210

Vermont

310.30.186933-1.439

Virginia

3,843.61.01,05311-0.823

Washington

3,343.42.01,20851.71

West Virginia

694.00.2826441.13

Wisconsin

2,866.90.587632-1.029

Wyoming

276.20.3868350.37

Puerto Rico

862.8-3.1509(3)-2.7(3)

Virgin Islands

36.9-1.1763(3)-1.9(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, March 19, 2018