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20-1810-PHI
Monday, September 21, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in Virginia – First Quarter 2020

Average weekly wages increased in 11 of 12 largest counties

Employment rose in 8 of the 12 largest counties in Virginia 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 Chesapeake City had the largest over-the-year increase in employment at 1.7 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in covered employment among the largest counties in Virginia, March 2020

U.S. 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 12 largest counties in Virginia, employment was highest in Fairfax County (619,000) in March 2020. Within Fairfax County’s private industry, professional and technical services accounted for the largest employment. Together, the 12 largest Virginia counties accounted for 56.3 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 121 counties in Virginia with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in 115 of the 121 smaller counties were below the national average in the first quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Eleven of the 12 large Virginia counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Eight counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 3.3 percent. Prince William County has the largest gain (+5.4 percent), followed by Chesterfield County (+4.9 percent), and Richmond City (+4.5 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among Virginia’s other 8 large counties ranged from 4.4 percent to 0.7 percent. (See chart 2.)

Chart 2. Over-the-year percent change in covered average weekly wages among the largest counties in Virginia, first quarter 2020

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 5 of the 12 largest counties in Virginia were above the national average of $1,222 in the first quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in three of these counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Arlington ($2,018, 9th), Fairfax ($1,914, 13th), and Alexandria City ($1,507, 35th).

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 Virginia’s smaller counties

Among the 121 smaller counties in Virginia–those with employment below 75,000–six counties reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,222. Goochland County ($2,701) reported the highest among the small counties, and the highest average weekly wage in the state. Mathews County ($554) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 133 counties in Virginia were considered, 16 reported average weekly wages of less than $650, 40 registered wages from $650 to $749, 26 had wages from $750 to $849, 18 had wages from $850 to $849, and 33 had average weekly wages of $950 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 2018 edition of this publication was published in September 2019. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.

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 12 largest counties in Virginia, 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--

Virginia

282.93,921.00.6--1,233134.011

Alexandria City

6.288.1-1.83381,507350.7319

Arlington

9.2185.01.1792,01892.5224

Chesapeake City

6.3104.01.7458953124.462

Chesterfield

9.4136.51.4609722464.934

Fairfax

36.9619.01.1791,914134.462

Henrico

11.9192.00.21821,1841044.462

Loudoun

12.9174.31.4601,361522.3241

Newport News City

4.0104.20.61331,062174-0.8347

Norfolk City

6.1140.0-1.53291,1171403.4150

Prince William

9.7132.30.31669812345.426

Richmond City

8.0157.5-0.72721,359544.556

Virginia Beach City

12.4175.3-0.32408693234.276

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 Virginia, 1st quarter 2020
AreaEmployment March 2020Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

147,088,945$1,222

Virginia

3,920,9521233

Accomack

12,752793

Albemarle

58,5501,069

Alleghany

3,666689

Amelia

2,596710

Amherst

7,934747

Appomattox

3,280598

Arlington

185,0102,018

Augusta

28,093886

Bath

2,121836

Bedford

18,645749

Bland

1,873901

Botetourt

11,023848

Brunswick

3,414682

Buchanan

6,287950

Buckingham

3,332722

Campbell

17,3171,000

Caroline

5,659745

Carroll

6,177597

Charles City

1,691885

Charlotte

2,722671

Chesterfield

136,497972

Clarke

3,792862

Craig

761677

Culpeper

16,131840

Cumberland

1,231639

Dickenson

3,440777

Dinwiddie

8,537969

Essex

3,610674

Fairfax County

618,9511,914

Fauquier

21,9811,020

Floyd

3,541575

Fluvanna

4,251818

Franklin

15,361654

Frederick

33,906980

Giles

4,476810

Gloucester

9,474689

Goochland

17,8182,701

Grayson

3,133566

Greene

3,740680

Greensville

4,391890

Halifax

11,614740

Hanover

53,637859

Henrico

191,9851,184

Henry

15,586662

Highland

447599

Isle of Wight

10,6951,262

James City

28,718848

King and Queen

1,093746

King George

12,4651,462

King William

3,958869

Lancaster

4,419707

Lee

4,209663

Loudoun

174,3081,361

Louisa

9,790961

Lunenburg

2,387681

Madison

3,102713

Mathews

1,582554

Mecklenburg

11,445692

Middlesex

3,168664

Montgomery

42,607927

Nelson

4,007703

New Kent

5,099767

Northampton

3,997602

Northumberland

2,441872

Nottoway

5,753725

Orange

9,678769

Page

5,231665

Patrick

4,283565

Pittsylvania

12,091700

Powhatan

7,381769

Prince Edward

9,006721

Prince George

14,8171,042

Prince William

132,298981

Pulaski

14,013794

Rappahannock

1,441735

Richmond County

2,907767

Roanoke County

39,290844

Rockbridge

6,385631

Rockingham

33,817889

Russell

6,721783

Scott

4,929637

Shenandoah

13,981793

Smyth

11,598693

Southampton

3,610718

Spotsylvania

35,964827

Stafford

45,8941,084

Surry

2,2931,693

Sussex

3,640790

Tazewell

14,362673

Warren

12,745796

Washington

19,192705

Westmoreland

3,297643

Wise

11,467661

Wythe

11,225699

York

20,283750

Alexandria City

88,1351,507

Bristol City

9,468712

Buena Vista City

2,061688

Charlottesville City

39,6551,094

Chesapeake City

104,043895

Colonial Heights City

10,557624

Covington City

3,849978

Danville City

24,933762

Emporia City

3,216618

Fairfax City

19,0781,150

Falls Church City

11,9591,343

Franklin City

4,275619

Fredericksburg City

23,967907

Galax City

5,553606

Hampton City

52,506937

Harrisonburg City

31,306818

Hopewell City

7,9461,078

Lexington City

4,539845

Lynchburg City

51,518879

Manassas City

23,2561,364

Manassas Park City

3,904920

Martinsville City

9,275674

Newport News City

104,1501,062

Norfolk City

140,0391,117

Norton City

3,391762

Petersburg City

13,143772

Poquoson City

1,776650

Portsmouth City

44,4831,036

Radford City

5,761887

Richmond City

157,5331,359

Roanoke City

65,099944

Salem City

19,373988

Staunton City

11,133735

Suffolk City

33,0251,044

Virginia Beach City

175,276869

Waynesboro City

9,504744

Williamsburg City

12,204833

Winchester City

25,209973

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, September 21, 2020