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News Release Information

18-1098-KAN
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (816) 285-7000

County Employment and Wages in Colorado – Fourth Quarter 2017

Employment rose in all nine large counties in Colorado from December 2016 to December 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2016 annual average employment.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that all nine counties reported rates of job growth that exceeded the national average of 1.5 percent. Weld County (5.2 percent) and Adams County (5.1 percent) had the largest gains. Arapahoe County (1.8 percent) had the smallest over-the-year increase. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, 316 of the 346 largest U.S. counties registered increases over the 12-month period. Midland, Texas, had the largest percentage increase, up 11.5 percent over the year. Shawnee, Kan., and Caddo, La., had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment with losses of 1.8 percent each.

Among the nine largest counties in Colorado, employment was highest in Denver (514,200) in December 2017. Four other counties—Adams, Arapahoe, El Paso, and Jefferson—had employment levels exceeding 200,000. Together, the nine large counties accounted for 80.7 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 346 largest counties made up 73.0 percent of total U.S. employment.

Average weekly wages rose in all nine large counties in Colorado from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Douglas County had the largest over-the-year percentage gain (9.0 percent). Nationally, average weekly wages were up 3.9 percent. Average weekly wages in five of the large counties in Colorado exceeded the national average of $1,109. Denver had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,334, followed by Douglas at $1,314. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 55 counties in Colorado with employment below 75,000. Broomfield ($1,900) was the only small county that had an average weekly wage above the national average. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages increased in all nine large counties in Colorado from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, with three counties posting increases greater than the U.S. average gain of 3.9 percent. Douglas County had the largest rate of wage growth (9.0 percent), placing fourth in the national ranking. Weld (6.9 percent, 10th) and Adams (5.4 percent, 22nd) placed in the top 25 among the 346 largest U.S. counties. Over-the-year wage gains in Colorado’s remaining six large counties were less than the national average, with El Paso (2.8 percent, 188th) and Jefferson (2.4 percent, 241st) placing in the bottom half of the national ranking.

Among the 346 largest U.S. counties, 339 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages in the fourth quarter of 2017. San Mateo, Calif., and Ada, Idaho, had the largest percentage increases in average weekly wages among the largest U.S. counties (11.5 percent each). Seven of the 346 largest counties experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Clayton, Ga., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a decline of 6.7 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Four of the state’s large counties had average weekly wages that placed in the top 50 of the 346 largest U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2017. Average weekly wages in Denver ($1,334) and Douglas ($1,314) ranked 32nd and 37th, respectively, followed by the counties of Boulder ($1,277, 45th) and Arapahoe ($1,268, 47th). One additional large county, Jefferson ($1,112, 95th), had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,109. The average weekly wages in Colorado’s four other large counties ranged from $1,075 to $962.

Nationally, weekly wages were higher than the U.S. average of $1,109 in 95 of the 346 largest counties. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,576, followed by New York, N.Y. ($2,439), and San Mateo, Calif. ($2,341). Among the largest U.S. counties, more than two-thirds (251) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the fourth quarter of 2017. The lowest weekly wages were in the Texas counties of Cameron ($652) and Hidalgo ($664), followed by Horry, S.C. ($674).

Average weekly wages in Colorado’s smaller counties

Of the 55 counties in Colorado with employment below 75,000, only Broomfield ($1,900) had an average weekly wage above the national average. San Juan County had the lowest weekly wage in the state with an average of $535 in the fourth quarter of 2017. (See table 2.)

When all 64 counties in Colorado were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages of $649 or less, 32 reported wages from $650 to $799, 9 had wages from $800 to $949, 9 had wages from $950 to $1099, and 6 had wages of $1,100 or higher. All six of the highest-wage counties were located in the Denver and Boulder metropolitan areas. The counties with the lowest average weekly wages were located in southern half of the state. (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 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 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 Averages Online will be available in September 2018.

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.

The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

QCEW Publication Acceleration and Conversion to Two Data Releases

The national QCEW publication process is accelerating for a more timely release. Beginning with the national fourth quarter 2017 release, QCEW data will be published in two parts. The current County Employment and Wages news release will be accelerated and published first. The full QCEW data release will occur two weeks later, accompanied by a data release notice.


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 10.0 million employer reports cover 145.9 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.

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.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 9 largest counties in Colorado, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2016-17 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

145,921.11.5--$1,109--3.9--

Colorado

2,653.32.5--1,133104.39

Adams, Colo.

211.75.181,0751145.422

Arapahoe, Colo.

331.21.81021,268473.4134

Boulder, Colo.

183.12.4691,277453.5122

Denver, Colo.

514.22.6561,334323.7107

Douglas, Colo.

123.62.9381,314379.04

El Paso, Colo.

274.42.5629672072.8188

Jefferson, Colo.

236.42.2811,112952.4241

Larimer, Colo.

159.03.0321,0111623.4134

Weld, Colo.

106.85.269622106.910

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 Colorado, fourth quarter 2017
AreaEmployment December 2017Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

145,921,109$1,109

Colorado

2,653,3491,133

Adams

211,7091,075

Alamosa

8,285727

Arapahoe

331,2451,268

Archuleta

4,082678

Baca

1,073594

Bent

1,082680

Boulder

183,1421,277

Broomfield

37,6671,900

Chaffee

7,777764

Cheyenne

695828

Clear Creek

3,305861

Conejos

1,444593

Costilla

897571

Crowley

1,132767

Custer

808708

Delta

8,485668

Denver

514,2141,334

Dolores

532690

Douglas

123,5751,314

Eagle

34,669919

Elbert

3,549846

El Paso

274,387967

Fremont

13,486772

Garfield

25,638967

Gilpin

4,914798

Grand

8,207700

Gunnison

8,902717

Hinsdale

253637

Huerfano

1,723640

Jackson

569739

Jefferson

236,3511,112

Kiowa

474677

Kit Carson

2,796725

Lake

2,437715

La Plata

26,421968

Larimer

159,0491,011

Las Animas

4,921728

Lincoln

2,254739

Logan

8,069756

Mesa

61,705854

Mineral

573563

Moffat

4,725955

Montezuma

8,872678

Montrose

15,090765

Morgan

12,344853

Otero

6,060703

Ouray

1,640769

Park

2,439752

Phillips

1,629754

Pitkin

18,0381,067

Prowers

4,582680

Pueblo

61,301835

Rio Blanco

2,753984

Rio Grande

3,973730

Routt

16,116849

Saguache

1,578632

San Juan

270535

San Miguel

5,868841

Sedgwick

776714

Summit

24,169795

Teller

7,207758

Washington

1,219759

Weld

106,802962

Yuma

3,914765

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, fourth quarter 2017
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2017 (thousands)Percent change, December 2016-17Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2016-17National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

145,921.11.5$1,109--3.9--

Alabama

1,955.31.1928362.932

Alaska

306.7-1.21,052191.551

Arizona

2,834.72.6978253.512

Arkansas

1,217.21.0848482.542

California

17,293.02.11,34645.74

Colorado

2,653.32.51,133104.39

Connecticut

1,689.70.31,31752.246

Delaware

444.90.61,081152.640

District of Columbia

769.00.91,81212.737

Florida

8,712.02.0975263.416

Georgia

4,425.01.81,027203.416

Hawaii

664.50.8984243.126

Idaho

712.43.0857467.11

Illinois

6,001.10.81,15192.640

Indiana

3,057.81.1915383.611

Iowa

1,549.70.4938323.028

Kansas

1,390.30.4894411.949

Kentucky

1,903.80.5892422.147

Louisiana

1,918.80.4933352.147

Maine

610.31.2884433.416

Maryland

2,683.60.51,20783.322

Massachusetts

3,582.21.31,41134.48

Michigan

4,321.80.91,062173.416

Minnesota

2,875.71.31,100143.416

Mississippi

1,140.60.5774512.445

Missouri

2,809.51.0945312.932

Montana

461.41.0843502.737

Nebraska

980.90.9901393.028

Nevada

1,351.93.5955293.225

New Hampshire

661.30.71,132113.710

New Jersey

4,106.91.61,26261.850

New Mexico

816.70.6865452.542

New York

9,465.31.41,42826.42

North Carolina

4,388.61.5964283.322

North Dakota

416.10.41,010223.322

Ohio

5,409.20.8973273.126

Oklahoma

1,607.81.2895403.512

Oregon

1,900.42.01,014214.57

Pennsylvania

5,870.41.21,075163.512

Rhode Island

483.61.11,056182.737

South Carolina

2,058.81.6879442.835

South Dakota

423.80.9856473.416

Tennessee

2,984.81.31,000233.028

Texas

12,207.82.01,109133.512

Utah

1,465.53.6936332.932

Vermont

314.70.5919372.542

Virginia

3,884.21.31,121122.835

Washington

3,305.02.41,21775.83

West Virginia

693.10.1847494.75

Wisconsin

2,872.61.0951303.028

Wyoming

267.50.6935344.66

Puerto Rico

887.0-4.4570(3)2.5(3)

Virgin Islands

34.3-11.1827(3)7.7(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, June 26, 2018