Wednesday, December 16, 2020
The average weekly wage in Washington, DC, increased 11.7 percent from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Nationally, the average weekly wage rose 8.6 percent over the year. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Maureen McDevitt Greene, the Bureau’s acting regional commissioner, noted that the average weekly wage in Washington, DC, ranked sixth-highest in the nation in the second quarter of 2020, at $1,987. (See table 1.) Nationally, weekly wages averaged $1,188.
Washington, DC, employment declined 10.0 percent over the year, to 701,700 in June 2020. Nationally, employment declined 9.4 percent over the 12-month period. The rate of employment change in Washington, DC, ranked 211th among the nation’s 357 largest counties.
Large county wage changes
Over the year, the 11.7-percent wage growth in Washington, DC, ranked 52nd among the 357 largest U.S. counties. Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 352 had over-the-year wage increases. The increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Atlantic, NJ, had the largest percentage wage increase (+22.5 percent). Five large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-6.6 percent).
Large county average weekly wages
Nationally, average weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average in 101 of the 357 largest counties. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,045. San Mateo, CA, was second with an average weekly wage of $2,812. There were 255 large counties with an average weekly wage below the national average in the second quarter of 2020. The lowest average weekly wage was in Cameron, TX ($698).
Additional statistics and other information
Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2019 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm. The 2020 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2021.
The County Employment and Wages release for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for third quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
Response rate tables for the second quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-second-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, see www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.
Special Notice: Imputation Methodology Improvements
QCEW implemented improvements to imputation methodology, effective with second quarter 2020 processing. For more information on QCEW imputation methodology and the impact of the improved methods, see www.bls.gov/cew/additional-resources/imputation-methodology.htm.
Special Notice: Business Response Survey
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the novel coronavirus through September 2020. Data for the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic are scheduled to be released on December 7, 2020 at 11:00 AM Eastern. For more information, please visit: www.bls.gov/brs/.
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 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/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2019/home.htm; 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 individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
|Area||Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
|June 2020 (thousands)||Percent change, June 2019-20 (2)||Average weekly wage||National Ranking by level||Percent change, second quarter 2019-20 (2)||National Ranking by percent change|
United States (3)
Santa Clara, CA
San Mateo, CA
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
NOTE: Covered employment and wages include workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
second quarter 2020
|Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
second quarter 2019–20
by percent change
United States (2)
District of Columbia
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: Wednesday, December 16, 2020