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News Release Information

20-513-PHI
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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County Employment and Wages in West Virginia – Third Quarter 2019

Employment decreased 1.5 percent in West Virginia’s only large county, Kanawha, from September 2018 to September 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2018 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that Kanawha County was among the 61 out of 355 large U.S. counties in which employment declined over the year. Kanawha County ranked 347th in the nation for employment change. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.1 percent over the year with 283 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. New Hanover, NC, recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Employment in Kanawha County totaled 96,300 in September 2019, accounting for 13.9 percent of West Virginia’s total employment. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 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. One county—Marshall—had a wage level above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The average weekly wage in Kanawha County increased 3.5 percent from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Kanawha County placed in the top half of the national ranking for wage change (168th). Nationwide, the average weekly wage increased 3.6 percent from a year ago to $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019.

Nationally, 350 of the 355 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Boulder, CO, had the largest percent wage increase (+18.4 percent). The remaining five large counties registered wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Kanawha County reported average weekly wages of $950, below the national average of $1,093 for the third quarter 2019, and ranked 208th among the 355 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 98 large counties reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,447. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 257 counties. At $659 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in West Virginia's smaller counties

Fifty-three of the 54 counties in West Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,093. Among these smaller counties, Marshall had the highest average weekly wage at $1,379, followed by Doddridge ($1,050), Monongalia ($1,036), and Jackson ($1,033). Clay County reported the lowest average wage in the state at $561 per week, followed by Pendleton County at $578 per week.

When all 55 counties in West Virginia were considered, 2 reported average weekly wages of less than $600, 11 reported wages from $600 to $699, 14 reported wages from $700 to $799, 18 reported wages of $800 to $899, and 10 reported wages of $900 or more. (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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now 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 fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.


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 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 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.51.1-$1,093-3.6-

Santa Clara, CA

1,121.91.8842,4471-0.3352

San Mateo, CA

419.13.1212,3662-0.1351

San Francisco, CA

765.23.5102,27337.67

New York, NY

2,515.11.21422,05542.9238

Washington, DC

776.30.62171,85152.5267

King, WA

1,445.33.1211,81463.6157

Suffolk, MA

700.72.4511,78474.385

Arlington, VA

182.92.5451,74483227

Fairfax, VA

622.21.51101,65194114

Middlesex, MA

939.31.61021,625104.478

Kanawha, WV

96.3-1.53479502083.5168

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 2019
AreaEmployment September 2019Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525$1,093

West Virginia

694,441897

Barbour

3,668805

Berkeley

36,520832

Boone

4,672837

Braxton

3,779690

Brooke

7,695798

Cabell

52,422864

Calhoun

1,177871

Clay

1,326561

Doddridge

1,6361,050

Fayette

10,813756

Gilmer

1,869791

Grant

3,349793

Greenbrier

13,244708

Hampshire

3,780632

Hancock

9,547748

Hardy

5,777678

Harrison

36,567991

Jackson

9,0951,033

Jefferson

15,651908

Kanawha

96,308950

Lewis

6,222917

Lincoln

2,389628

Logan

10,190871

McDowell

4,282884

Marion

17,688828

Marshall

12,6891,379

Mason

5,465869

Mercer

18,814756

Mineral

7,840828

Mingo

5,224857

Monongalia

57,5401,036

Monroe

1,945781

Morgan

2,803640

Nicholas

7,250703

Ohio

28,290829

Pendleton

1,520578

Pleasants

2,846935

Pocahontas

3,006612

Preston

7,298788

Putnam

20,2661,023

Raleigh

32,154842

Randolph

11,321717

Ritchie

3,193831

Roane

2,972705

Summers

2,164615

Taylor

3,221846

Tucker

2,578675

Tyler

2,084882

Upshur

7,444754

Wayne

8,398842

Webster

1,688654

Wetzel

4,439679

Wirt

601665

Wood

35,649822

Wyoming

4,093741

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 2019
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,556.51.1$1,093--3.6--

Alabama

1,989.51.1919363.818

Alaska

338.01.21,105143.721

Arizona

2,913.42.61,018224.54

Arkansas

1,222.80.0841493.818

California

17,713.11.41,30953.818

Colorado

2,749.02.41,17086.11

Connecticut

1,676.6-0.31,23662.350

Delaware

453.21.11,078153.332

District of Columbia

776.40.61,85112.549

Florida

8,838.21.7955293.427

Georgia

4,509.71.41,026203.427

Hawaii

654.1-0.31,012233.915

Idaho

765.22.9838504.110

Illinois

6,023.10.01,125103.623

Indiana

3,083.50.3914373.526

Iowa

1,556.90.1914373.039

Kansas

1,395.90.4893432.943

Kentucky

1,910.80.7884453.427

Louisiana

1,913.5-0.3923352.647

Maine

632.60.9887444.27

Maryland

2,696.90.21,16993.623

Massachusetts

3,642.50.91,35924.27

Michigan

4,375.80.21,021213.039

Minnesota

2,917.80.41,107133.039

Mississippi

1,135.80.1768512.746

Missouri

2,826.50.6942313.915

Montana

478.91.2848483.915

Nebraska

984.70.3908394.013

Nevada

1,412.22.1973264.110

New Hampshire

667.90.81,075163.427

New Jersey

4,104.00.91,21773.039

New Mexico

842.11.7899405.12

New York

9,575.41.11,31443.332

North Carolina

4,501.32.2972273.623

North Dakota

428.40.91,028193.332

Ohio

5,443.30.3976253.137

Oklahoma

1,628.80.5897412.647

Oregon

1,970.71.41,037183.235

Pennsylvania

5,947.90.81,064173.235

Rhode Island

491.30.6991242.844

South Carolina

2,132.42.2866463.721

South Dakota

433.40.4855473.427

Tennessee

3,060.81.9966282.844

Texas

12,603.22.11,109124.110

Utah

1,535.22.8954304.83

Vermont

311.00.0927344.35

Virginia

3,931.41.01,125104.013

Washington

3,489.82.11,33534.35

West Virginia

694.4-1.8897410.351

Wisconsin

2,893.80.1929333.137

Wyoming

283.11.5942314.27

Puerto Rico

878.91.9528(3)-0.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.89.61,012(3)12.8(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: Wednesday, March 25, 2020