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News Release Information

19-93-BOS
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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County Employment and Wages in Massachusetts – Second Quarter 2018

Employment increased in 8 of the 9 large counties in Massachusetts from June 2017 to June 2018. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or greater as measured by 2017 annual average employment.) Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that Suffolk (1.9 percent) and Middlesex (1.7 percent) had over-the-year employment gains that were larger than the 1.5-percent national average. (See table 1)

Nationally, 309 of the 349 large counties had employment gains from June 2017 to June 2018. The largest over-the-year percentage gain was recorded in Midland, TX (11.6 percent). McLean, IL, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment (-2.0 percent).

Among the nine large counties in Massachusetts, employment was highest in Middlesex (934,800) in June 2018, followed by Suffolk (684,700). Together, Massachusetts’ large counties accounted for 93.7 percent of total employment within the commonwealth. Nationwide, the 349 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment in June 2018.

Average weekly wages increased in all of the large counties in Massachusetts from the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018. Essex County had the largest wage gain, up 6.6 percent. Suffolk (3.7 percent) and Middlesex (3.4 percent) recorded the next highest wage growth. Suffolk County had the highest average weekly wage at $1,711, followed by Middlesex County at $1,571. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.4 percent over the year to $1,055 in the second quarter of 2018.(See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the five counties in Massachusetts with employment below 75,000. All five of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)

 

Large County Wage Changes

Two of the nine large counties in Massachusetts recorded wage growth above the national increase of 3.4 percent. Essex County’s 6.6-percent annual wage gain ranked 10th among the 349 largest U.S. counties in the second quarter of June 2018. Suffolk (3.7 percent) placed in the top-third for wage growth nationwide. Plymouth County had the smallest annual wage gain in the commonwealth, at 0.1 percent, and ranked 339th among the large U.S. counties.(See table 1.)

Of the 349 largest U.S. counties, 340 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. Nationwide, Marin, CA, ranked first in average weekly wage growth, with an increase of 11.7 percent from the second quarter of 2017. Eight large U.S. counties had wage declines over the year. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage decline in average weekly wages with a loss of 6.4 percent.

Large County Average Weekly Wages

Average weekly wages in four of Massachusetts’ large counties were above the national average of $1,055 in the second quarter of 2018 and all ranked in the top-fifth nationwide. Two of these counties placed in the top 10 nationwide: Suffolk ($1,711, 6th) and Middlesex ($1,571, 10th). Barnstable County ($893, 242nd) had the lowest average weekly wage among the large counties in the commonwealth.

Average weekly wages were higher than the national average in 94 of the 349 largest U.S. counties. Santa Clara, CA, held the top position with an average weekly wage of $2,573. San Mateo, CA, was second with an average weekly wage of $2,357, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,083), New York, NY ($2,025), and Washington, DC ($1,713).

More than two-thirds of the largest U.S. counties (255) reported average weekly wages below the national average in the second quarter of 2018. The lowest weekly wage was reported in Horry SC ($625), followed by the Texas counties Cameron ($642), Hidalgo ($645) and Webb ($687). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than one-third of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, Santa Clara, CA ($2,573).

Average Weekly Wages in Massachusetts’ Smaller Counties

All five counties in Massachusetts with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,055. Among these smaller counties, Nantucket had the highest average weekly wage at $1,008 and Franklin reported the lowest at $797.

When all 14 counties in Massachusetts were considered, three counties had average weekly wages below $899. Five counties reported weekly wages ranging from $900 to $999, two had wages from $1,000 to $1,099, and four had wages above $1,100. The two highest-paid counties were located in the Boston metropolitan area, which includes the area encircled by Highway 128. (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 Services: 1-800-877-8339.


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.

 

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 9 largest counties in Massachusetts, second quarter 2018
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2018 (thousands)Percent change, June 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, second quarter 2017-18 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

147431.21.5--$1,055--3.4--

Massachusetts

3650.11.0--1,32223.512

Barnstable, MA

108.3-0.63408932422.9185

Bristol, MA

232.80.22939751692.3244

Essex, MA

334.20.82191,163546.610

Hampden, MA

210.50.52579162122.1261

Middlesex, MA

934.81.71181,571103.4124

Norfolk, MA

359.50.13031,230383.3136

Plymouth, MA

200.40.72359991460.1339

Suffolk, MA

684.71.91031,71163.793

Worcester, MA

354.00.72351,0391042.9185

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 the counties in Massachusetts, second quarter 2018
AreaEmployment June 2018Average weekly wage (1)

United States(2)

147,431,154$1,055

Massachusetts

3,650,0651,322

Barnstable

108,332893

Berkshire

63,179880

Bristol

232,785975

Dukes

11,202946

Essex

334,1571,163

Franklin

27,463797

Hampden

210,529916

Hampshire

68,293938

Middlesex

934,7831,571

Nantucket

9,7691,008

Norfolk

359,4891,230

Plymouth

200,428999

Suffolk

684,6621,711

Worcester

353,9741,039

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: Covered employment and wages include 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, second quarter 2018
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
June 2018 (thousands)Percent change, June 2017-18Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, second quarter 2017-18National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

147,431.21.5$1,055--3.4--

Alabama

1,969.91.2882372.835

Alaska

335.8-0.91,043153.79

Arizona

2,770.82.6973233.319

Arkansas

1,214.60.7824471.747

California

17,473.11.91,26544.63

Colorado

2,704.42.41,075103.227

Connecticut

1,704.50.31,21850.150

Delaware

454.31.31,023171.449

District of Columbia

777.31.31,71312.639

Florida

8,568.92.1931282.932

Georgia

4,440.52.0979222.343

Hawaii

658.30.5956242.541

Idaho

745.33.1794503.88

Illinois

6,061.10.81,09793.414

Indiana

3,075.81.1883362.835

Iowa

1,583.70.8880393.319

Kansas

1,393.31.0879403.414

Kentucky

1,905.90.9882372.343

Louisiana

1,918.60.4901333.79

Maine

636.81.0843453.611

Maryland

2,712.00.71,14183.414

Massachusetts

3,650.11.01,32223.512

Michigan

4,424.71.3997202.932

Minnesota

2,925.60.81,072123.319

Mississippi

1,130.70.2752512.738

Missouri

2,829.00.5924303.97

Montana

478.71.1817482.541

Nebraska

990.80.6859433.129

Nevada

1,372.43.1931283.319

New Hampshire

670.80.81,049143.319

New Jersey

4,157.00.91,20172.343

New Mexico

823.61.0852443.512

New York

9,579.21.71,29734.54

North Carolina

4,450.22.2933253.319

North Dakota

426.10.8986213.414

Ohio

5,461.30.7933252.343

Oklahoma

1,606.41.2875413.227

Oregon

1,947.31.5999183.319

Pennsylvania

5,924.91.11,031163.129

Rhode Island

491.00.7998191.747

South Carolina

2,126.53.4833460.051

South Dakota

439.70.9807492.835

Tennessee

2,994.11.6932272.932

Texas

12,326.32.21,062133.414

Utah

1,483.93.4899354.35

Vermont

312.4-0.8907314.35

Virginia

3,941.01.31,073112.639

Washington

3,444.12.71,21856.91

West Virginia

702.91.6868424.82

Wisconsin

2,933.50.9904323.319

Wyoming

282.20.5901333.031

Puerto Rico

853.5-2.3543(3)5.2(3)

Virgin Islands

33.4-14.4838(3)12.8(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, January 16, 2019