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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
Area Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average 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)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 -- $1,173 -- 7.4 --

West Virginia

51.7 649.1 -6.7 -- 913 47 1.8 49

Kanawha

5.6 88.7 -8.6 276 981 246 2.9 338

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
Area Employment September 2020 Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503 $1,173

West Virginia

649,094 913

Barbour

3,768 837

Berkeley

35,105 895

Boone

4,407 807

Braxton

3,566 684

Brooke

7,186 777

Cabell

49,054 907

Calhoun

1,064 876

Clay

1,221 550

Doddridge

1,513 850

Fayette

10,089 697

Gilmer

1,751 798

Grant

3,261 821

Greenbrier

12,300 764

Hampshire

3,793 651

Hancock

8,481 799

Hardy

5,555 712

Harrison

34,024 998

Jackson

8,102 986

Jefferson

14,737 954

Kanawha

88,678 981

Lewis

5,156 848

Lincoln

2,249 639

Logan

8,994 809

McDowell

3,880 866

Marion

16,552 843

Marshall

11,679 1,093

Mason

5,322 876

Mercer

17,591 778

Mineral

7,841 847

Mingo

4,176 813

Monongalia

54,100 1,092

Monroe

1,911 831

Morgan

2,867 650

Nicholas

7,042 766

Ohio

25,548 893

Pendleton

1,527 552

Pleasants

2,324 936

Pocahontas

2,776 651

Preston

7,111 801

Putnam

19,583 1,028

Raleigh

29,498 840

Randolph

10,598 751

Ritchie

2,989 772

Roane

2,753 780

Summers

2,080 628

Taylor

3,044 886

Tucker

2,462 723

Tyler

1,959 805

Upshur

6,980 765

Wayne

8,190 913

Webster

1,589 672

Wetzel

4,265 686

Wirt

575 627

Wood

32,830 862

Wyoming

4,013 747

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
State Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average 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)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 $1,173 -- 7.4 --

Alabama

132.2 1,902.4 -4.5 978 33 6.4 27

Alaska

22.9 302.6 -10.7 1,165 14 5.4 42

Arizona

174.1 2,797.1 -4.2 1,091 22 7.3 17

Arkansas

93.6 1,180.1 -3.4 892 49 6.1 31

California

1,643.8 16,096.8 -9.2 1,466 4 12.0 1

Colorado

220.1 2,597.2 -5.6 1,235 9 5.6 38

Connecticut

125.4 1,555.6 -7.3 1,328 7 7.4 15

Delaware

34.9 428.8 -5.6 1,150 15 6.8 21

District of Columbia

43.3 713.7 -8.1 1,962 1 6.1 31

Florida

749.1 8,329.7 -5.8 1,029 27 8.0 11

Georgia

313.0 4,282.1 -5.2 1,084 23 5.8 35

Hawaii

46.5 507.5 -22.9 1,114 18 10.3 4

Idaho

70.7 763.7 -0.2 884 50 5.5 41

Illinois

385.9 5,558.5 -7.8 1,199 11 6.8 21

Indiana

172.4 2,941.8 -4.7 961 39 5.3 43

Iowa

105.1 1,475.0 -5.2 969 36 6.0 34

Kansas

89.2 1,325.4 -5.0 952 40 6.6 24

Kentucky

128.0 1,807.1 -5.5 935 43 5.8 35

Louisiana

139.5 1,734.6 -9.6 970 35 5.2 45

Maine

54.4 597.3 -5.9 966 37 9.0 9

Maryland

172.4 2,496.6 -7.6 1,277 8 9.5 7

Massachusetts

265.1 3,314.8 -9.4 1,488 2 9.7 6

Michigan

266.9 4,035.9 -7.9 1,096 20 7.5 14

Minnesota

183.1 2,703.3 -7.4 1,178 12 6.4 27

Mississippi

74.9 1,092.4 -4.0 810 51 5.6 38

Missouri

218.8 2,681.7 -5.1 995 32 5.6 38

Montana

53.0 466.9 -2.5 904 48 6.6 24

Nebraska

73.7 949.9 -3.8 964 38 6.4 27

Nevada

87.9 1,251.0 -11.6 1,048 24 7.8 13

New Hampshire

56.1 634.2 -5.2 1,171 13 8.9 10

New Jersey

289.3 3,778.4 -8.0 1,331 6 9.5 7

New Mexico

63.1 771.9 -8.6 944 41 5.1 46

New York

657.6 8,547.7 -10.8 1,446 5 10.0 5

North Carolina

301.4 4,308.2 -4.4 1,039 26 6.9 20

North Dakota

32.5 398.2 -7.0 1,025 28 -0.3 50

Ohio

305.7 5,136.8 -5.6 1,040 25 6.6 24

Oklahoma

112.4 1,538.5 -5.7 917 46 2.3 48

Oregon

164.6 1,837.3 -7.0 1,113 19 7.4 15

Pennsylvania

366.5 5,501.0 -7.6 1,139 17 7.0 19

Rhode Island

40.1 452.5 -8.0 1,092 21 10.4 3

South Carolina

146.6 2,022.9 -5.2 924 44 6.7 23

South Dakota

35.2 422.3 -2.6 918 45 7.2 18

Tennessee

173.6 2,918.1 -4.6 1,022 29 5.8 35

Texas

733.1 11,926.8 -5.5 1,150 15 3.8 47

Utah

114.3 1,518.2 -1.0 1,015 30 6.1 31

Vermont

26.4 283.9 -8.6 1,001 31 7.9 12

Virginia

285.7 3,737.0 -5.0 1,201 10 6.4 27

Washington

256.6 3,266.2 -6.3 1,482 3 11.0 2

West Virginia

51.7 649.1 -6.7 913 47 1.8 49

Wisconsin

181.2 2,746.6 -5.2 977 34 5.3 43

Wyoming

27.5 264.0 -6.8 939 42 -0.4 51

Puerto Rico

45.7 831.6 -5.3 547 (3) 3.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.4 33.9 -13.0 1,019 (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