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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
Area Establishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands) Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands) Percent change, March 2019-20 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) First quarter 2020 National ranking by level (3) Percent change, first quarter 2019-20 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,447.2 147,088.9 0.4 -- $1,222 -- 3.3 --

Virginia

282.9 3,921.0 0.6 -- 1,233 13 4.0 11

Alexandria City

6.2 88.1 -1.8 338 1,507 35 0.7 319

Arlington

9.2 185.0 1.1 79 2,018 9 2.5 224

Chesapeake City

6.3 104.0 1.7 45 895 312 4.4 62

Chesterfield

9.4 136.5 1.4 60 972 246 4.9 34

Fairfax

36.9 619.0 1.1 79 1,914 13 4.4 62

Henrico

11.9 192.0 0.2 182 1,184 104 4.4 62

Loudoun

12.9 174.3 1.4 60 1,361 52 2.3 241

Newport News City

4.0 104.2 0.6 133 1,062 174 -0.8 347

Norfolk City

6.1 140.0 -1.5 329 1,117 140 3.4 150

Prince William

9.7 132.3 0.3 166 981 234 5.4 26

Richmond City

8.0 157.5 -0.7 272 1,359 54 4.5 56

Virginia Beach City

12.4 175.3 -0.3 240 869 323 4.2 76

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
Area Employment March 2020 Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

147,088,945 $1,222

Virginia

3,920,952 1233

Accomack

12,752 793

Albemarle

58,550 1,069

Alleghany

3,666 689

Amelia

2,596 710

Amherst

7,934 747

Appomattox

3,280 598

Arlington

185,010 2,018

Augusta

28,093 886

Bath

2,121 836

Bedford

18,645 749

Bland

1,873 901

Botetourt

11,023 848

Brunswick

3,414 682

Buchanan

6,287 950

Buckingham

3,332 722

Campbell

17,317 1,000

Caroline

5,659 745

Carroll

6,177 597

Charles City

1,691 885

Charlotte

2,722 671

Chesterfield

136,497 972

Clarke

3,792 862

Craig

761 677

Culpeper

16,131 840

Cumberland

1,231 639

Dickenson

3,440 777

Dinwiddie

8,537 969

Essex

3,610 674

Fairfax County

618,951 1,914

Fauquier

21,981 1,020

Floyd

3,541 575

Fluvanna

4,251 818

Franklin

15,361 654

Frederick

33,906 980

Giles

4,476 810

Gloucester

9,474 689

Goochland

17,818 2,701

Grayson

3,133 566

Greene

3,740 680

Greensville

4,391 890

Halifax

11,614 740

Hanover

53,637 859

Henrico

191,985 1,184

Henry

15,586 662

Highland

447 599

Isle of Wight

10,695 1,262

James City

28,718 848

King and Queen

1,093 746

King George

12,465 1,462

King William

3,958 869

Lancaster

4,419 707

Lee

4,209 663

Loudoun

174,308 1,361

Louisa

9,790 961

Lunenburg

2,387 681

Madison

3,102 713

Mathews

1,582 554

Mecklenburg

11,445 692

Middlesex

3,168 664

Montgomery

42,607 927

Nelson

4,007 703

New Kent

5,099 767

Northampton

3,997 602

Northumberland

2,441 872

Nottoway

5,753 725

Orange

9,678 769

Page

5,231 665

Patrick

4,283 565

Pittsylvania

12,091 700

Powhatan

7,381 769

Prince Edward

9,006 721

Prince George

14,817 1,042

Prince William

132,298 981

Pulaski

14,013 794

Rappahannock

1,441 735

Richmond County

2,907 767

Roanoke County

39,290 844

Rockbridge

6,385 631

Rockingham

33,817 889

Russell

6,721 783

Scott

4,929 637

Shenandoah

13,981 793

Smyth

11,598 693

Southampton

3,610 718

Spotsylvania

35,964 827

Stafford

45,894 1,084

Surry

2,293 1,693

Sussex

3,640 790

Tazewell

14,362 673

Warren

12,745 796

Washington

19,192 705

Westmoreland

3,297 643

Wise

11,467 661

Wythe

11,225 699

York

20,283 750

Alexandria City

88,135 1,507

Bristol City

9,468 712

Buena Vista City

2,061 688

Charlottesville City

39,655 1,094

Chesapeake City

104,043 895

Colonial Heights City

10,557 624

Covington City

3,849 978

Danville City

24,933 762

Emporia City

3,216 618

Fairfax City

19,078 1,150

Falls Church City

11,959 1,343

Franklin City

4,275 619

Fredericksburg City

23,967 907

Galax City

5,553 606

Hampton City

52,506 937

Harrisonburg City

31,306 818

Hopewell City

7,946 1,078

Lexington City

4,539 845

Lynchburg City

51,518 879

Manassas City

23,256 1,364

Manassas Park City

3,904 920

Martinsville City

9,275 674

Newport News City

104,150 1,062

Norfolk City

140,039 1,117

Norton City

3,391 762

Petersburg City

13,143 772

Poquoson City

1,776 650

Portsmouth City

44,483 1,036

Radford City

5,761 887

Richmond City

157,533 1,359

Roanoke City

65,099 944

Salem City

19,373 988

Staunton City

11,133 735

Suffolk City

33,025 1,044

Virginia Beach City

175,276 869

Waynesboro City

9,504 744

Williamsburg City

12,204 833

Winchester City

25,209 973

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
State Establishments, first quarter 2020 (thousands) Employment Average weekly wage (1)
March 2020 (thousands) Percent change, March 2019-20 First quarter 2020 National ranking by level Percent change, first quarter 2019-20 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

10,447.2 147,088.9 0.4 $1,222 -- 3.3 --

Alabama

132.6 1,983.8 0.3 974 36 3.2 23

Alaska

22.6 312.8 -0.1 1,130 19 2.1 44

Arizona

170.4 2,957.2 1.9 1,098 22 4.4 1

Arkansas

93.6 1,220.5 0.2 922 45 3.0 29

California

1,631.1 17,570.5 0.8 1,459 5 4.2 3

Colorado

214.5 2,725.2 1.2 1,284 9 4.3 2

Connecticut

124.1 1,639.4 -0.7 1,510 4 1.5 48

Delaware

34.6 443.7 -0.3 1,251 11 1.7 45

District of Columbia

42.3 778.1 0.6 1,994 1 3.8 14

Florida

740.5 8,975.1 0.8 1,051 25 3.6 18

Georgia

301.5 4,522.2 0.9 1,159 17 3.4 19

Hawaii

45.4 655.5 -1.0 1,033 27 3.0 29

Idaho

66.8 755.2 3.1 864 50 4.2 3

Illinois

381.5 5,872.9 -0.7 1,302 8 2.3 41

Indiana

171.1 3,028.5 -1.0 994 33 3.2 23

Iowa

104.8 1,523.4 -0.2 978 35 3.7 16

Kansas

89.8 1,383.3 0.2 969 37 3.2 23

Kentucky

124.0 1,884.9 0.1 943 43 2.5 38

Louisiana

137.4 1,897.0 -1.3 969 37 1.7 45

Maine

53.9 601.0 0.1 955 40 4.0 11

Maryland

175.7 2,661.5 -0.4 1,277 10 4.1 8

Massachusetts

263.3 3,565.1 -0.2 1,605 3 3.0 29

Michigan

267.0 4,281.4 -0.6 1,103 20 2.3 41

Minnesota

183.9 2,838.2 -0.1 1,235 12 2.7 35

Mississippi

73.9 1,128.1 -0.2 801 51 2.8 34

Missouri

214.8 2,795.7 0.3 1,016 31 3.0 29

Montana

50.6 465.2 1.5 869 49 3.1 27

Nebraska

72.3 972.4 0.8 956 39 4.1 8

Nevada

86.1 1,410.8 1.3 1,033 27 4.2 3

New Hampshire

54.3 657.0 0.2 1,194 15 3.3 20

New Jersey

285.8 4,052.7 0.4 1,455 6 3.9 13

New Mexico

64.0 835.6 0.9 923 44 3.7 16

New York

657.2 9,415.7 -0.3 1,693 2 3.3 20

North Carolina

296.0 4,501.1 0.9 1,094 23 4.1 8

North Dakota

32.2 414.3 0.0 1,046 26 2.4 39

Ohio

304.4 5,349.6 -0.3 1,063 24 2.9 33

Oklahoma

112.8 1,598.0 -1.3 949 42 -0.5 51

Oregon

162.4 1,938.9 0.7 1,103 20 4.2 3

Pennsylvania

363.5 5,851.3 0.0 1,177 16 2.7 35

Rhode Island

39.5 473.9 -0.2 1,132 18 2.7 35

South Carolina

142.7 2,112.8 0.1 922 45 2.2 43

South Dakota

34.7 420.6 0.4 901 48 4.2 3

Tennessee

171.2 3,033.5 1.0 1,027 29 3.1 27

Texas

725.7 12,626.2 1.2 1,232 14 2.4 39

Utah

109.8 1,526.8 1.8 1,026 30 3.2 23

Vermont

26.1 303.9 -1.8 980 34 3.3 20

Virginia

282.9 3,921.0 0.6 1,233 13 4.0 11

Washington

255.6 3,427.3 1.7 1,414 7 3.8 14

West Virginia

51.2 674.9 -1.8 904 47 0.9 49

Wisconsin

178.2 2,836.5 -0.2 1,008 32 1.7 45

Wyoming

27.2 268.5 -0.5 955 40 0.6 50

Puerto Rico

47.5 886.4 1.0 551 (3) 0.0 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.3 40.1 5.7 1,046 (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