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19-676-PHI
Monday, April 15, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in West Virginia – Third Quarter 2018

Employment decreased 1.9 percent in West Virginia’s only large county, Kanawha, from September 2017 to September 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2017 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that Kanawha County was among the 43 large U.S. counties in which employment declined over the year. Nationally, employment increased 1.6 percent, as 295 of the 349 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. Kanawha County ranked 348th in the nation for employment change. (See table 1.)

Nationally, Midland, TX, recorded the largest percentage increase in employment with a gain of 11.9 percent over the year. New Hanover, NC, registered the largest over-the-year employment decline among the largest U.S. counties, down 2.0 percent.

Employment in Kanawha County stood at 98,000 in September 2018, accounting for 13.9 percent of West Virginia’s total employment. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 73.0 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. Wage levels in 52 of these smaller counties were below the national average of $1,055 in the third quarter of 2018. Marshall and Jackson Counties had weekly wages of $1,589 and $1,522, respectively. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

The average weekly wage in Kanawha County increased 3.9 percent from the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018. Kanawha County placed in the top quarter of the national ranking for wage change (73rd). Kanawha’s increase in average weekly wages was larger than the 3.3-percent national average increase.

Nationally, 336 of the 349 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Chatham, GA, had the largest wage increase, up 8.5 percent from the third quarter of 2017. King, WA, was second with a wage increase of 7.9 percent, followed by Santa Clara, CA, and Stanislaus, CA, at 7.8 percent each.

Of the 349 largest counties, 11 experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Elkhart, IN, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-4.2 percent), followed by Union, NJ; Providence, RI; Forsyth, NC; and Peoria, IL.

Kanawha County reported average weekly wages of $917, below the national average of $1,055 for the third quarter 2018, and ranked 210th among the 349 largest U.S. counties.

Nationally, 94 large counties registered average weekly wages equal to or above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2018. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,460. San Mateo, CA, was second ($2,363), followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,097).

Seventy-three percent of the largest U.S. counties (255) reported weekly wages below the national average. Cameron County, TX, reported the lowest wage ($632), followed by the counties of Horry, SC ($635) and Hidalgo, TX ($662). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than a third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA.

Average weekly wages in West Virginia's smaller counties

Fifty-two of the 54 counties in West Virginia with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,055. Among these smaller counties, Marshall had the highest average weekly wage at $1,589, while Clay had the lowest at $525. (See table 2.)

When all 55 counties in West Virginia were considered, only Marshall and Jackson had average weekly wages above the national average. Two reported average weekly wages under $600, 12 reported wages from $600 to $699, 16 reported wages from $700 to $799, 16 reported wages of $800 to $899, and 9 reported 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 2017 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2018 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2017 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn17.htm. The 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2019.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.


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 2018
Area Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2018 (thousands) Percent change, September 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3) Average weekly wage National ranking by level (3) Percent change, third quarter 2017-18 (2) National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

146,824.1 1.6 - $1,055 - 3.3 -

Santa Clara, Calif.

1,102.4 2.2 78 2,460 1 7.8 3

San Mateo, Calif.

406.1 2.1 85 2,363 2 7.2 9

San Francisco, Calif.

745.3 3.1 43 2,097 3 7.6 5

New York, N.Y.

2,454.5 0.4 249 1,997 4 4.0 65

Washington, D.C.

770.7 0.7 206 1,807 5 2.8 186

King, Wash.

1,404.0 2.8 55 1,752 6 7.9 2

Suffolk, Mass.

682.5 1.7 115 1,706 7 0.9 323

Arlington, Va.

177.9 0.9 184 1,691 8 2.9 169

Fairfax, Va.

613.7 1.4 139 1,588 9 3.2 141

Middlesex, Mass.

923.5 1.4 139 1,563 10 4.3 49

Kanawha, W.Va.

98.0 -1.9 348 917 210 3.9 73

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 2018
Area Employment September 2018 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

146,824,093 $1,055

West Virginia

706,024 894

Barbour

3,527 735

Berkeley

35,771 809

Boone

4,813 845

Braxton

3,761 650

Brooke

7,783 759

Cabell

51,933 840

Calhoun

1,206 824

Clay

1,337 525

Doddridge

1,725 1,037

Fayette

11,002 720

Gilmer

1,893 765

Grant

3,278 773

Greenbrier

13,240 709

Hampshire

3,793 605

Hancock

9,597 748

Hardy

5,824 657

Harrison

37,913 974

Jackson

14,657 1,522

Jefferson

15,808 870

Kanawha

98,030 917

Lewis

6,574 953

Lincoln

2,335 636

Logan

9,815 830

McDowell

4,307 839

Marion

17,905 823

Marshall

15,054 1,589

Mason

5,439 847

Mercer

19,041 732

Mineral

7,945 773

Mingo

5,533 872

Monongalia

56,999 998

Monroe

1,908 760

Morgan

2,879 617

Nicholas

7,474 713

Ohio

28,481 829

Pendleton

1,478 562

Pleasants

2,748 932

Pocahontas

2,955 604

Preston

7,384 762

Putnam

21,107 1,045

Raleigh

31,686 795

Randolph

11,304 686

Ritchie

3,212 838

Roane

2,891 705

Summers

2,085 621

Taylor

3,223 831

Tucker

2,535 675

Tyler

2,151 831

Upshur

7,501 757

Wayne

8,388 803

Webster

1,642 647

Wetzel

4,541 644

Wirt

580 675

Wood

35,449 794

Wyoming

4,238 841

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 2018
State Employment Average weekly wage (1)
September 2018 (thousands) Percent change, September 2017-18 Average weekly wage National ranking by level Percent change, third quarter 2017-18 National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

146,824.1 1.6 $1,055 -- 3.3 --

Alabama

1,966.0 1.2 885 38 3.1 25

Alaska

334.0 -0.4 1,065 13 3.7 12

Arizona

2,838.6 2.8 974 23 2.9 31

Arkansas

1,222.1 0.7 811 49 2.9 31

California

17,457.5 1.8 1,260 5 3.8 9

Colorado

2,684.0 2.1 1,104 9 3.5 18

Connecticut

1,681.5 0.3 1,209 6 2.5 41

Delaware

447.8 0.6 1,046 15 2.4 42

District of Columbia

770.7 0.7 1,807 1 2.8 36

Florida

8,690.7 4.6 924 29 3.1 25

Georgia

4,448.8 2.3 993 20 3.3 21

Hawaii

654.7 0.0 975 22 2.4 42

Idaho

743.5 3.0 805 50 3.2 23

Illinois

6,029.2 0.8 1,087 10 3.0 28

Indiana

3,072.3 0.9 883 39 2.4 42

Iowa

1,555.0 0.6 887 37 3.7 12

Kansas

1,390.4 1.0 867 42 3.5 18

Kentucky

1,898.7 0.5 855 43 2.2 47

Louisiana

1,915.4 0.5 901 33 3.7 12

Maine

626.5 0.6 851 45 3.7 12

Maryland

2,683.9 0.7 1,130 8 2.4 42

Massachusetts

3,598.1 0.7 1,305 2 3.2 23

Michigan

4,366.5 0.8 991 21 2.8 36

Minnesota

2,904.3 0.8 1,074 12 4.2 5

Mississippi

1,133.7 0.2 754 51 3.4 20

Missouri

2,812.0 0.4 907 31 3.3 21

Montana

473.3 1.0 815 48 2.8 36

Nebraska

980.3 0.6 873 41 2.8 36

Nevada

1,382.9 3.4 936 28 2.4 42

New Hampshire

662.3 0.5 1,040 16 1.7 49

New Jersey

4,072.6 0.8 1,181 7 2.1 48

New Mexico

826.2 1.2 855 43 3.9 7

New York

9,467.5 1.4 1,272 4 4.2 5

North Carolina

4,398.0 1.1 938 26 3.8 9

North Dakota

424.3 1.1 995 19 4.4 3

Ohio

5,424.4 0.7 947 25 2.9 31

Oklahoma

1,616.8 1.2 874 40 3.6 16

Oregon

1,939.8 1.5 1,005 18 3.8 9

Pennsylvania

5,894.8 1.0 1,031 17 3.0 28

Rhode Island

489.4 1.0 963 24 -1.3 51

South Carolina

2,088.2 2.8 834 46 0.8 50

South Dakota

431.5 1.3 827 47 3.0 28

Tennessee

3,005.6 1.7 938 26 3.9 7

Texas

12,327.0 2.6 1,064 14 3.1 25

Utah

1,494.4 3.4 911 30 3.6 16

Vermont

310.9 0.0 892 36 2.6 40

Virginia

3,889.6 1.1 1,082 11 2.9 31

Washington

3,425.6 2.4 1,280 3 6.2 2

West Virginia

706.0 1.7 894 35 8.1 1

Wisconsin

2,888.9 0.7 901 33 2.9 31

Wyoming

278.2 0.6 905 32 4.3 4

Puerto Rico

862.5 0.2 534 (3) 5.3 (3)

Virgin Islands

33.4 -8.0 888 (3) 18.6 (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, April 15, 2019