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20-1982-PHI
Monday, October 19, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in Pennsylvania – First Quarter 2020

Average weekly wages increased in 18 of 19 large counties

Employment rose in 10 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania from March 2019 to March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that Lancaster County had the largest over-the-year increase in employment at 1.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Employment increased 0.4 percent over the year with 202 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. St. Johns, FL, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 3.7 percent over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.5 percent.

Among the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, employment was highest in Philadelphia County (702,000) in March 2020. Together, the 19 largest Pennsylvania counties accounted for 77.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 67 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 47 of the 48 smaller counties were below the national average in the first quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Eighteen of the 19 large Pennsylvania counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Five counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 3.3 percent. Allegheny County had the largest gain (+4.5 percent), followed by Montgomery County (+4.4 percent), and Berks County (+3.8 percent). Thirteen large counties had over-the-year wage gains ranging from 3.2 percent to 0.9 percent. Delaware was the only large Pennsylvania county with an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages, down 0.3 percent.

Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 335 had over-the-year wage increases. McLean, IL, had the largest percentage wage increase (+13.3 percent). Twenty large counties had wage declines during the period. Peoria, IL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-12.8 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the 6 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania were above the national average of $1,222 in the first quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in two of these counties ranked among the top 100 nationwide: Allegheny ($1,310, 56th) and Montgomery ($1,609, 62nd).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 92  reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the first quarter of 2020. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,270. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 265 counties. At $666 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in Pennsylvania’s smaller counties

Among the 48 smaller counties in Pennsylvania–those with employment below 75,000–Montour ( $1,329) was the only county to report an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,222. Perry County ($640) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 67 counties in Pennsylvania were considered, 3 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 13 registered wages from $700 to $799, 27 had wages from $800 to $899, 8 had wages from $900 to $999, and 16 had average weekly wages of $1,000 or higher. (See chart 3.)

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 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 second quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

QCEW Data and Response Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Beginning with this release of first quarter 2020 data, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program will publish response rate tables for establishments, employment, and total quarterly wages. Tables for the first quarter of 2020 are available at www.bls.gov/covid19/county-employment-and-wages-covid-19-impact-first-quarter-2020.htm. For more information about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on QCEW data, please visit www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-county-employment-and-wages-data.htm.


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 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 individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands)EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands)Percent change, March 2019-20 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)First quarter 2020National ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2019-20 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,447.2147,088.90.4--$1,222--3.3--

Pennsylvania

363.55,851.30.0--1,177162.735

Allegheny

35.7686.3-0.72721,310644.556

Berks

8.9174.70.61331,0261993.8114

Bucks

20.5262.20.11921,0461861.9263

Butler

5.186.70.11921,0461861.3298

Chester

15.9249.80.41581,536311.9263

Cumberland

6.6135.00.71221,0531792.7201

Dauphin

7.5183.70.21821,1441293.4150

Delaware

14.2223.0-0.52571,25283-0.3340

Erie

6.9120.2-1.13008493352.0259

Lackawanna

5.695.6-1.23088493353.5142

Lancaster

13.9244.21.0919402743.2165

Lehigh

8.8192.0-0.22311,1301350.9309

Luzerne

7.5144.70.21828803151.7274

Montgomery

28.1501.90.02031,609234.462

Northampton

6.9118.60.91019792352.7201

Philadelphia

35.3702.00.81101,393480.9309

Washington

5.685.5-2.23501,302662.8195

Westmoreland

9.3130.7-1.02919103031.0307

York

9.3178.1-0.22319632551.9263

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 Pennsylvania, first quarter 2020
AreaEmployment March 2020Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

147,088,945$1,222

Pennsylvania

5,851,2691,177

Adams

35,026816

Allegheny

686,2571,310

Armstrong

16,072812

Beaver

56,4631106

Bedford

15,323684

Berks

174,7011026

Blair

57,785820

Bradford

22,290981

Bucks

262,2011,046

Butler

86,6671046

Cambria

49,243778

Cameron

1,763772

Carbon

15,407722

Centre

66,9251016

Chester

249,8401,536

Clarion

12,718712

Clearfield

29,595811

Clinton

12,849835

Columbia

24,589806

Crawford

29,141789

Cumberland

134,9701053

Dauphin

183,7101,144

Delaware

223,0341,252

Elk

14,078849

Erie

120,154849

Fayette

38,526815

Forest

1,902880

Franklin

59,545867

Fulton

5,831909

Greene

12,3181,127

Huntingdon

12,312769

Indiana

29,200929

Jefferson

15,363774

Juniata

6,940708

Lackawanna

95,577849

Lancaster

244,180940

Lawrence

27,519816

Lebanon

50,905843

Lehigh

191,9611,130

Luzerne

144,727880

Lycoming

49,903874

Mckean

14,126806

Mercer

44,219848

Mifflin

15,897789

Monroe

56,090895

Montgomery

501,9271,609

Montour

16,0701,329

Northampton

118,623979

Northumberland

26,474857

Perry

7,790640

Philadelphia

702,0151,393

Pike

10,827669

Potter

5,160846

Schuylkill

49,664834

Snyder

15,289724

Somerset

23,775789

Sullivan

1,378708

Susquehanna

8,812839

Tioga

12,519822

Union

17,247890

Venango

17,316770

Warren

13,930830

Washington

85,4651,302

Wayne

14,048806

Westmoreland

130,690910

Wyoming

9,405982

York

178,105963

Footnotes

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, first quarter 2020
StateEstablishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands)EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands)Percent change, March 2019-20First quarter 2020National ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2019-20National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

10,447.2147,088.90.4$1,222--3.3--

Alabama

132.61,983.80.3974363.223

Alaska

22.6312.8-0.11,130192.144

Arizona

170.42,957.21.91,098224.41

Arkansas

93.61,220.50.2922453.029

California

1,631.117,570.50.81,45954.23

Colorado

214.52,725.21.21,28494.32

Connecticut

124.11,639.4-0.71,51041.548

Delaware

34.6443.7-0.31,251111.745

District of Columbia

42.3778.10.61,99413.814

Florida

740.58,975.10.81,051253.618

Georgia

301.54,522.20.91,159173.419

Hawaii

45.4655.5-1.01,033273.029

Idaho

66.8755.23.1864504.23

Illinois

381.55,872.9-0.71,30282.341

Indiana

171.13,028.5-1.0994333.223

Iowa

104.81,523.4-0.2978353.716

Kansas

89.81,383.30.2969373.223

Kentucky

124.01,884.90.1943432.538

Louisiana

137.41,897.0-1.3969371.745

Maine

53.9601.00.1955404.011

Maryland

175.72,661.5-0.41,277104.18

Massachusetts

263.33,565.1-0.21,60533.029

Michigan

267.04,281.4-0.61,103202.341

Minnesota

183.92,838.2-0.11,235122.735

Mississippi

73.91,128.1-0.2801512.834

Missouri

214.82,795.70.31,016313.029

Montana

50.6465.21.5869493.127

Nebraska

72.3972.40.8956394.18

Nevada

86.11,410.81.31,033274.23

New Hampshire

54.3657.00.21,194153.320

New Jersey

285.84,052.70.41,45563.913

New Mexico

64.0835.60.9923443.716

New York

657.29,415.7-0.31,69323.320

North Carolina

296.04,501.10.91,094234.18

North Dakota

32.2414.30.01,046262.439

Ohio

304.45,349.6-0.31,063242.933

Oklahoma

112.81,598.0-1.394942-0.551

Oregon

162.41,938.90.71,103204.23

Pennsylvania

363.55,851.30.01,177162.735

Rhode Island

39.5473.9-0.21,132182.735

South Carolina

142.72,112.80.1922452.243

South Dakota

34.7420.60.4901484.23

Tennessee

171.23,033.51.01,027293.127

Texas

725.712,626.21.21,232142.439

Utah

109.81,526.81.81,026303.223

Vermont

26.1303.9-1.8980343.320

Virginia

282.93,921.00.61,233134.011

Washington

255.63,427.31.71,41473.814

West Virginia

51.2674.9-1.8904470.949

Wisconsin

178.22,836.5-0.21,008321.745

Wyoming

27.2268.5-0.5955400.650

Puerto Rico

47.5886.41.0551(3)0.0(3)

Virgin Islands

3.340.15.71,046(3)6.3(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, October 19, 2020