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21-455-PHI
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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County Employment and Wages in West Virginia – Third Quarter 2020

Employment declined in West Virginia’s only large county from September 2019 to September 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.) Acting Regional Commissioner Frank Waligorski noted that Kanawha County had an over-the-year decrease in employment of 8.6 percent. (See table 1.)

National employment decreased 6.8 percent over the year, with 355 of the 357 largest U.S. counties reporting declines. Maui + Kalawao, HI, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 35.4 percent.  Utah, UT, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a gain of 1.9 percent.

Employment in Kanawha County was at 88,700 in September 2020. Within Kanawha County’s private industry, health care and social assistance accounted for the largest employment. Kanawha County accounted for 13.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 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 below 75,000. Wage levels in all of the smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Kanawha County reported an average weekly wage gain of 2.9 percent from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020. This was below the national rate of 7.4 percent over the year.

Among the 357 largest counties in the United States, 350 had over-the-year wage increases. Nationally, the increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries. Employment declines occurring in some higher-paid industries also feature significant wage increases. San Mateo, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+23.2 percent). Seven large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-11.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in Kanawha County were below the national average of $1,173 in the third quarter of 2020, at $981. Average weekly wages in the county ranked 246th nationwide.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 96 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2020. San Mateo, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,922. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 261 counties. At $697 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in West Virginia's smaller counties

Among the 54 smaller counties in West Virginia—those with employment below 75,000—Marshall ($1,093) and Monongalia ($1,092) reported the highest average weekly wages in the state. Clay ($550) and Pendleton ($552) reported the lowest average weekly wages in West Virginia.

When all 55 counties in West Virginia were considered, 12 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 13 registered wages from $700 to $799, 20 had wages from $800 to $899, and 10 had average weekly 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 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 fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.


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 largest county in West Virginia, third quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,561.3138,549.5-6.8--$1,173--7.4--

West Virginia

51.7649.1-6.7--913471.849

Kanawha

5.688.7-8.62769812462.9338

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 2020
AreaEmployment September 2020Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503$1,173

West Virginia

649,094913

Barbour

3,768837

Berkeley

35,105895

Boone

4,407807

Braxton

3,566684

Brooke

7,186777

Cabell

49,054907

Calhoun

1,064876

Clay

1,221550

Doddridge

1,513850

Fayette

10,089697

Gilmer

1,751798

Grant

3,261821

Greenbrier

12,300764

Hampshire

3,793651

Hancock

8,481799

Hardy

5,555712

Harrison

34,024998

Jackson

8,102986

Jefferson

14,737954

Kanawha

88,678981

Lewis

5,156848

Lincoln

2,249639

Logan

8,994809

McDowell

3,880866

Marion

16,552843

Marshall

11,6791,093

Mason

5,322876

Mercer

17,591778

Mineral

7,841847

Mingo

4,176813

Monongalia

54,1001,092

Monroe

1,911831

Morgan

2,867650

Nicholas

7,042766

Ohio

25,548893

Pendleton

1,527552

Pleasants

2,324936

Pocahontas

2,776651

Preston

7,111801

Putnam

19,5831,028

Raleigh

29,498840

Randolph

10,598751

Ritchie

2,989772

Roane

2,753780

Summers

2,080628

Taylor

3,044886

Tucker

2,462723

Tyler

1,959805

Upshur

6,980765

Wayne

8,190913

Webster

1,589672

Wetzel

4,265686

Wirt

575627

Wood

32,830862

Wyoming

4,013747

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 2020
StateEstablishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,561.3138,549.5-6.8$1,173--7.4--

Alabama

132.21,902.4-4.5978336.427

Alaska

22.9302.6-10.71,165145.442

Arizona

174.12,797.1-4.21,091227.317

Arkansas

93.61,180.1-3.4892496.131

California

1,643.816,096.8-9.21,466412.01

Colorado

220.12,597.2-5.61,23595.638

Connecticut

125.41,555.6-7.31,32877.415

Delaware

34.9428.8-5.61,150156.821

District of Columbia

43.3713.7-8.11,96216.131

Florida

749.18,329.7-5.81,029278.011

Georgia

313.04,282.1-5.21,084235.835

Hawaii

46.5507.5-22.91,1141810.34

Idaho

70.7763.7-0.2884505.541

Illinois

385.95,558.5-7.81,199116.821

Indiana

172.42,941.8-4.7961395.343

Iowa

105.11,475.0-5.2969366.034

Kansas

89.21,325.4-5.0952406.624

Kentucky

128.01,807.1-5.5935435.835

Louisiana

139.51,734.6-9.6970355.245

Maine

54.4597.3-5.9966379.09

Maryland

172.42,496.6-7.61,27789.57

Massachusetts

265.13,314.8-9.41,48829.76

Michigan

266.94,035.9-7.91,096207.514

Minnesota

183.12,703.3-7.41,178126.427

Mississippi

74.91,092.4-4.0810515.638

Missouri

218.82,681.7-5.1995325.638

Montana

53.0466.9-2.5904486.624

Nebraska

73.7949.9-3.8964386.427

Nevada

87.91,251.0-11.61,048247.813

New Hampshire

56.1634.2-5.21,171138.910

New Jersey

289.33,778.4-8.01,33169.57

New Mexico

63.1771.9-8.6944415.146

New York

657.68,547.7-10.81,446510.05

North Carolina

301.44,308.2-4.41,039266.920

North Dakota

32.5398.2-7.01,02528-0.350

Ohio

305.75,136.8-5.61,040256.624

Oklahoma

112.41,538.5-5.7917462.348

Oregon

164.61,837.3-7.01,113197.415

Pennsylvania

366.55,501.0-7.61,139177.019

Rhode Island

40.1452.5-8.01,0922110.43

South Carolina

146.62,022.9-5.2924446.723

South Dakota

35.2422.3-2.6918457.218

Tennessee

173.62,918.1-4.61,022295.835

Texas

733.111,926.8-5.51,150153.847

Utah

114.31,518.2-1.01,015306.131

Vermont

26.4283.9-8.61,001317.912

Virginia

285.73,737.0-5.01,201106.427

Washington

256.63,266.2-6.31,482311.02

West Virginia

51.7649.1-6.7913471.849

Wisconsin

181.22,746.6-5.2977345.343

Wyoming

27.5264.0-6.893942-0.451

Puerto Rico

45.7831.6-5.3547(3)3.4(3)

Virgin Islands

3.433.9-13.01,019(3)-0.5(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: Tuesday, March 16, 2021