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17-1352-PHI
Friday, September 29, 2017

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County Employment and Wages in Pennsylvania – First Quarter 2017

All large counties in Pennsylvania had average weekly wage increases over the year

Employment rose in 13 of the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania from March 2016 to March 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2016 annual average employment.) Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Northampton County’s 3.1-percent rate of employment growth was the fastest in Pennsylvania, followed by Philadelphia County with an employment increase of 2.2 percent. Five of Pennsylvania’s large counties had employment declines with Erie having the largest decrease, down 1.0 percent. One county—Washington—had no change in employment from March 2016 to March 2017.

Nationally, employment increased 1.6 percent during this 12-month period, as 299 of the 346 large counties nationwide gained jobs. York County, S.C., had the largest percentage increase in employment, up 6.8 percent over the year. Kanawha County, W.Va., had the largest employment decrease with a loss of 2.7 percent.

Among the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, employment was highest in Allegheny County (685,000) in March 2017. One other county, Philadelphia, had employment above 600,000. Together, Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties accounted for 77.1 percent of total employment within the commonwealth. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment.

The average weekly wage in Washington County increased 9.1 percent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017—the largest wage increase among Pennsylvania’s largest counties and ranked 30th nationwide. The remaining 18 large counties in Pennsylvania had wage increases ranging from 7.9 percent in Delaware to 2.7 percent in Northampton. (See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 6.6 percent over the year to $1,111 in the first quarter of 2017.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000. Forty-seven of these smaller counties had weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Seven of Pennsylvania’s 19 large counties had over-the-year wage increases greater than the national increase of 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Three of these counties had wage growth that ranked in the top 100 of the 346 large counties nationwide. Among the remaining 12 large counties in Pennsylvania, the smallest wage gain was in Northampton (2.7 percent) which ranked 338th, followed by Lackawanna (4.0 percent, ranked 315th).

Nationwide, 345 of the 346 large counties had increases in average weekly wages over the year. McLean, Ill., had the largest increase of 27.8 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Elkhart, Ind., had the second largest increase in average weekly wages (15.1 percent), followed by Midland, Texas (14.3 percent) and Benton, Ark., (14.2 percent). Peoria, Ill., had the only percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-1.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

The average weekly wage in one of Pennsylvania’s large counties, Montgomery, ranked 25th in the nation, while Chester and Philadelphia also ranked in the top 50 nationwide. In addition to these counties, Delaware, Allegheny, and Washington also had wages above the U.S. average of $1,111.

Four large counties in the commonwealth had average weekly wages that placed in the bottom fourth of the national ranking—Erie, Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Westmoreland. Wages in these counties were nearly 25 percent below the national average for the first quarter of 2017.

Average weekly wages in Pennsylvania’s smaller counties

Forty-seven of the 48 counties in Pennsylvania with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,111. The exception was Montour County with wages of $1,234. Perry had the lowest weekly wage among the smaller counties, averaging $603 in the first quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 67 counties in Pennsylvania were considered, 60 had wages below the national average of $1,111. Seven reported wages below $700, 28 had wages from $701 to $800, 15 had wages from $801 to $900, 7 had wages from $901 to $1,000, and 10 had wages above $1,000. (See chart 1.) Four of the seven counties with wages above the national average of $1,111 were concentrated in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and two were located in the Pittsburgh area.

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 the QCEW Web site at 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 2016 edition of this publication is now available and contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2017 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2016 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn16.htm. The 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Online will be available in September 2018.


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 9.9 million employer reports cover 142.3 million full- and part-time workers. 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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 19 largest counties in Pennsylvania, first quarter 2017
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2017 (thousands) Percent change, March 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2016-17 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,309.2 1.6 -- $1,111  -- 6.6  -- 

Pennsylvania

5,712.3 0.8 -- 1,078 15 6.5 30

Allegheny, Pa.

685.0 0.8 237 1,203 63 7.2 109

Berks, Pa.

169.4 0.1 294 938 202 7.2 109

Bucks, Pa.

259.5 1.8 143 981 168 6.7 148

Butler, Pa.

83.7 -0.9 337 961 182 7.0 126

Chester, Pa.

246.4 1.1 209 1,408 31 6.2 189

Cumberland, Pa.

131.3 0.9 229 960 185 5.6 233

Dauphin, Pa.

177.9 0.1 294 1,060 123 5.8 215

Delaware, Pa.

220.0 1.2 201 1,220 60 7.9 63

Erie, Pa.

119.6 -1.0 338 799 318 4.3 302

Lackawanna, Pa.

96.4 -0.1 308 778 325 4.0 315

Lancaster, Pa.

233.3 1.2 201 881 258 6.5 163

Lehigh, Pa.

184.7 0.7 248 1,063 118 6.5 163

Luzerne, Pa.

141.8 -0.2 314 825 303 7.4 92

Montgomery, Pa.

484.8 1.0 218 1,449 25 5.7 228

Northampton, Pa.

113.0 3.1 43 917 214 2.7 338

Philadelphia, Pa.

667.1 2.2 107 1,274 49 5.8 215

Washington, Pa.

84.3 0.0 300 1,183 67 9.1 30

Westmoreland, Pa.

131.1 -0.6 331 841 291 5.9 210

York, Pa.

176.0 0.8 237 911 224 6.2 189

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 2017
Area Employment March 2017 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

142,309,185 1111

Pennsylvania

5,712,254 1078

Adams

33,944 763

Allegheny

685,045 1203

Armstrong

16,084 748

Beaver

50,061 855

Bedford

15,145 657

Berks

169,405 938

Blair

57,807 751

Bradford

22,705 892

Bucks

259,544 981

Butler

83,684 961

Cambria

51,377 718

Cameron

1,913 765

Carbon

16,780 669

Centre

68,170 925

Chester

246,400 1408

Clarion

13,239 651

Clearfield

29,476 734

Clinton

12,703 805

Columbia

24,516 753

Crawford

29,736 753

Cumberland

131,266 960

Dauphin

177,915 1060

Delaware

219,971 1220

Elk

14,832 794

Erie

119,624 799

Fayette

38,287 718

Forest

1,948 862

Franklin

57,329 796

Fulton

4,841 886

Greene

12,829 1038

Huntingdon

12,329 716

Indiana

29,883 882

Jefferson

15,356 737

Juniata

6,497 667

Lackawanna

96,363 778

Lancaster

233,335 881

Lawrence

27,351 744

Lebanon

48,787 785

Lehigh

184,668 1063

Luzerne

141,761 825

Lycoming

50,471 796

Mckean

14,895 808

Mercer

46,180 777

Mifflin

15,292 721

Monroe

55,371 853

Montgomery

484,806 1449

Montour

15,741 1234

Northampton

112,954 917

Northumberland

27,112 804

Perry

7,788 603

Philadelphia

667,090 1274

Pike

10,655 632

Potter

5,201 789

Schuylkill

48,682 803

Snyder

16,391 704

Somerset

23,498 721

Sullivan

1,471 656

Susquehanna

8,868 758

Tioga

12,423 765

Union

17,451 830

Venango

17,733 707

Warren

14,363 768

Washington

84,310 1183

Wayne

14,098 722

Westmoreland

131,059 841

Wyoming

9,528 897

York

176,009 911

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 2017
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2017 (thousands) Percent change, March 2016-17 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2016-17 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,309.2 1.6 $1,111 -- 6.6 --

Alabama

1,928.9 1.4 893 36 6.2 35

Alaska

312.8 -1.8 1,061 18 3.9 50

Arizona

2,743.0 2.4 991 21 8.1 4

Arkansas

1,199.9 0.7 859 45 8.5 3

California

16,831.4 2.3 1,295 6 7.6 7

Colorado

2,573.2 2.3 1,136 12 7.5 10

Connecticut

1,651.5 0.1 1,417 4 4.0 49

Delaware

433.2 0.8 1,185 9 10.7 1

District of Columbia

760.7 1.2 1,885 1 7.0 16

Florida

8,532.6 2.8 949 27 7.2 13

Georgia

4,317.1 2.7 1,068 17 6.1 37

Hawaii

653.6 0.9 954 25 6.8 22

Idaho

690.4 3.0 775 50 7.0 16

Illinois

5,842.0 0.5 1,195 8 6.3 34

Indiana

2,985.8 1.2 918 32 7.6 7

Iowa

1,518.3 0.0 899 35 6.5 30

Kansas

1,368.0 0.4 888 38 6.7 25

Kentucky

1,864.1 1.1 879 41 6.9 18

Louisiana

1,901.3 -0.5 906 33 5.5 43

Maine

586.7 1.0 860 44 7.2 13

Maryland

2,626.0 1.2 1,171 10 5.8 42

Massachusetts

3,464.0 1.1 1,428 3 7.7 6

Michigan

4,230.6 1.7 1,041 20 6.8 22

Minnesota

2,806.4 2.1 1,149 11 7.9 5

Mississippi

1,122.9 0.1 750 51 5.3 46

Missouri

2,767.0 1.4 930 31 5.9 38

Montana

451.5 1.4 800 49 6.5 30

Nebraska

960.7 0.4 868 42 6.4 33

Nevada

1,311.6 3.8 932 30 6.9 18

New Hampshire

643.2 1.2 1,070 16 7.3 11

New Jersey

3,955.1 1.5 1,333 5 5.0 47

New Mexico

803.3 0.2 838 46 5.9 38

New York

9,159.3 1.3 1,541 2 5.9 38

North Carolina

4,287.0 1.8 991 21 6.9 18

North Dakota

405.7 -1.0 953 26 5.0 47

Ohio

5,278.3 0.8 976 24 6.7 25

Oklahoma

1,563.9 -1.0 883 39 5.9 38

Oregon

1,855.0 2.5 984 23 5.4 45

Pennsylvania

5,712.3 0.8 1,078 15 6.5 30

Rhode Island

465.4 0.3 1,055 19 7.2 13

South Carolina

2,017.9 2.2 864 43 7.3 11

South Dakota

413.4 0.7 819 48 6.2 35

Tennessee

2,906.2 1.8 945 28 6.7 25

Texas

11,924.5 1.7 1,124 14 5.5 43

Utah

1,411.3 3.1 905 34 6.6 29

Vermont

305.6 0.2 889 37 6.7 25

Virginia

3,796.3 1.4 1,129 13 6.9 18

Washington

3,225.9 2.6 1,215 7 8.6 2

West Virginia

678.2 -0.8 837 47 7.6 7

Wisconsin

2,803.7 1.1 933 29 6.8 22

Wyoming

262.4 -2.3 880 40 3.3 51

Puerto Rico

887.7 -0.9 526 (3) 1.2 (3)

Virgin Islands

38.7 0.0 797 (3) 3.1 (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: Friday, September 29, 2017