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News Release Information

19-886-KAN
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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Technical information:
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County Employment and Wages in Colorado – Fourth Quarter 2018

Employment rose in all nine large counties in Colorado from December 2017 to December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2017 average annual employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that Weld County (3.9 percent) had the fastest employment growth among the nine largest counties in the state. (See table 1.)

Nationwide, employment advanced 1.5 percent during the 12-month period as 296 of the 349 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Midland, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase, up 10.0 percent. Bay, FL, experienced the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.6 percent.

Among the nine largest counties in Colorado, employment was highest in Denver County (522,900) and lowest in Weld (111,400) in December 2018. Together, the nine largest Colorado counties accounted for 80.6 percent of total employment within the state.

Average weekly wages increased in 8 of the 9 large counties in Colorado. Douglas County (-3.6 percent) was the only large county to record a decrease over the year. Jefferson County had the largest over-the-year wage increase among the state’s large counties, up 8.7 percent. Denver County ($1,414) had the highest average weekly wage among Colorado’s large counties and was above the national average of $1,144. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 55 counties in Colorado with employment levels below 75,000. Of these small counties, Broomfield ($1,546) had the highest average weekly wage level. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Jefferson County’s 8.7-percent annual wage increase ranked eighth among large U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2018. Three large counties registered increases of 6.0 percent each and ranked 25th: Boulder, Denver, and Larimer. Douglas County had an over-the-year decline of 3.6 percent, which ranked 346th among the 349 large U.S. counties. (See table 1.)

Average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,144, a 3.2-percent increase over the year. Of the 349 largest U.S. counties, 332 had over-the-year wage increases. Tippecanoe, IN, had the largest fourth quarter over-the-year wage gain at 15.1 percent. Fifteen large U.S. counties had over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Washington, PA, recorded the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.6 percent.

Large county average weekly wages

Three of the state’s large counties had average weekly wages that placed in the top 50 of the 349 largest U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2018. Average weekly wages in Denver County ($1,414, 25th), Boulder County ($1,354, 39th), and Arapahoe County ($1,306, 47th) recorded wages above the national average of $1,144. Douglas County ($1,272, 51st) and Jefferson County ($1,211, 67th) also recorded wages above the national average and were in the top third of the national ranking. The four remaining large counties in Colorado had average weekly wages that placed in the middle-third of the national ranking.

Nationally, 94 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2018. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,670. San Francisco, CA, was second at $2,452. The average weekly wage in the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA, was nearly four times the average weekly wage in the lowest-ranked county, Hidalgo, TX ($680).

Average weekly wages in Colorado’s smaller counties

Of the 55 counties in Colorado with employment below 75,000, Broomfield County reported the highest average weekly wage at $1,546 and San Juan County reported the lowest average weekly wage at $548 in the fourth quarter of 2018. (See table 2.)

When all 64 counties in Colorado were considered, 6 had wages above the national average. Thirteen reported average weekly wages of $1000 or higher, 5 reported wages from $900 to $999, 18 had wages from $800 to $899, 16 recorded wages from $700 to $799, and 12 counties had wages of $699 or less. (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 Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2017 are now available online at https://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 first quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 United States and the 9 largest counties in Colorado, fourth quarter 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands)Percent change, December 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, fourth quarter 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,061.81.5--$1,144--3.2--

Colorado

2,713.72.2--1,180104.111

Adams

220.03.7121,0941232.0257

Arapahoe

334.51.61261,306473.0176

Boulder

185.81.9861,354396.025

Denver

522.91.81001,414256.025

Douglas

127.71.71141,27251-3.6346

El Paso

280.02.2601,0131894.665

Jefferson

241.31.61261,211678.78

Larimer

163.52.7361,0641506.025

Weld

111.43.991,0141885.343

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, 4th quarter 2018
AreaEmployment December 2018Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

148,061,773$1,144

Colorado

2,713,7061,180

Adams

220,0061,094

Alamosa

8,271763

Arapahoe

334,5391,306

Archuleta

4,151697

Baca

1,105624

Bent

1,075744

Boulder

185,7851,354

Broomfield

40,2551,546

Chaffee

7,946824

Cheyenne

695855

Clear Creek

3,422904

Conejos

1,449625

Costilla

895612

Crowley

1,085830

Custer

851675

Delta

8,450703

Denver

522,9141,414

Dolores

538672

Douglas

127,6501,272

Eagle

35,471945

Elbert

3,764880

El Paso

280,0191,013

Fremont

13,494824

Garfield

26,2631,009

Gilpin

4,734886

Grand

8,265723

Gunnison

8,829771

Hinsdale

254666

Huerfano

1,753698

Jackson

569865

Jefferson

241,2981,211

Kiowa

482762

Kit Carson

2,819742

Lake

2,498823

La Plata

26,057991

Larimer

163,4541,064

Las Animas

5,033842

Lincoln

2,266761

Logan

8,052808

Mesa

63,396895

Mineral

706554

Moffat

4,750978

Montezuma

9,046713

Montrose

15,400801

Morgan

12,520953

Otero

6,056736

Ouray

1,796776

Park

2,365809

Phillips

1,694769

Pitkin

18,5361,111

Prowers

4,472684

Pueblo

61,586872

Rio Blanco

2,6831,086

Rio Grande

3,922782

Routt

16,188889

Saguache

1,555663

San Juan

282548

San Miguel

6,078841

Sedgwick

787721

Summit

24,582819

Teller

7,240777

Washington

1,241786

Weld

111,4251,014

Yuma

4,419848

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 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December 2018 (thousands)Percent change, December 2017-18Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, fourth quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,061.81.5$1,144--3.2--

Alabama

1,986.61.6957363.133

Alaska

308.30.41,103164.97

Arizona

2,921.13.01,017244.111

Arkansas

1,227.00.8869502.443

California

17,556.71.71,39243.326

Colorado

2,713.72.21,180104.111

Connecticut

1,697.90.51,33451.349

Delaware

451.21.11,107152.443

District of Columbia

775.10.61,94317.32

Florida

8,902.72.11,006273.133

Georgia

4,499.81.81,053212.443

Hawaii

669.30.61,016253.326

Idaho

734.43.2890473.620

Illinois

6,026.00.31,18993.326

Indiana

3,086.20.9941382.837

Iowa

1,558.40.5966353.035

Kansas

1,402.20.8927413.718

Kentucky

1,914.00.3924423.230

Louisiana

1,934.10.7968343.815

Maine

618.41.3906442.541

Maryland

2,702.50.81,22881.748

Massachusetts

3,620.31.01,45723.326

Michigan

4,366.51.01,077191.349

Minnesota

2,902.30.91,140143.620

Mississippi

1,144.30.2793512.541

Missouri

2,821.30.5980313.620

Montana

468.81.6888485.25

Nebraska

983.00.2930403.230

Nevada

1,397.43.31,006275.34

New Hampshire

666.00.71,158122.346

New Jersey

4,125.60.81,29862.738

New Mexico

830.21.5905454.69

New York

9,613.21.51,44531.051

North Carolina

4,458.91.61,013265.16

North Dakota

422.31.51,057204.78

Ohio

5,442.90.51,006273.424

Oklahoma

1,632.31.5932394.111

Oregon

1,935.81.71,052223.718

Pennsylvania

5,932.51.01,103162.639

Rhode Island

487.20.81,085182.639

South Carolina

2,119.62.8893461.947

South Dakota

428.41.2885493.424

Tennessee

3,039.81.81,030233.035

Texas

12,531.72.51,148133.523

Utah

1,511.53.2972333.815

Vermont

314.2-0.4954373.230

Virginia

3,927.21.11,164113.815

Washington

3,384.22.41,29276.33

West Virginia

704.21.5917438.31

Wisconsin

2,892.30.6989304.014

Wyoming

272.11.8978324.410

Puerto Rico

896.40.8576(3)0.9(3)

Virgin Islands

34.50.5925(3)2.3(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: Wednesday, July 10, 2019