Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Puerto Rico’s only large county, the municipio of San Juan, reported an employment decrease of 1.4 percent from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2015 annual average employment.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that in September 2016, San Juan’s employment level of 244,976 accounted for 27.6 percent of total employment in the commonwealth.
In the United States, employment grew 1.7 percent over the year, as 307 of the 344 largest U.S. counties gained jobs. (See table 1 and chart 1.) The 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment.
The average weekly wage in San Juan was $634 in the third quarter of 2016, a 2.8-percent increase from a year ago. By comparison, the U.S. weekly wage increased 5.4 percent over the year to $1,027. (See table 1 and chart 2.)
Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 77 municipios in Puerto Rico with employment below 75,000. All 77 had wages below the U.S. average of $1,027. (See table 2.) Juncos, located on the eastern part of the island, had the highest average weekly wage, $891. Guaynabo, located on the northern part of the island, was the only other small municipio with an average weekly wage above $600. Thirty-two municipios had average weekly wages below $400, with roughly half of these low-wage municipios located in the western end of the island, including Lajas ($325) and Las Marias ($313). (See chart 3.)
In the neighboring Virgin Islands, average weekly wages were also below the U.S. average. The highest average weekly wage among the three Virgin Island counties was $802 in St. Croix. Average weekly wages on St. Thomas and St. John were $771 and $698, respectively.
Though employment on each island was below 25,000, more than half of the Virgin Island’s 37,443 jobs in September 2016 were on St. Thomas, and an additional 14,265 were on St. Croix.
Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2015 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 2016 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2015/home.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.
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 fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
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 9.8 million employer reports cover 142.9 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. 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.
|Area||Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
|September 2016 (thousands)||Percent change, September 2015-16 (2)||Average weekly wage||Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2)|
United States (3)
|Area||Employment September 2016||Average weekly wage (1)|
United States (2)
Note: Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
|State||Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
|September 2016 (thousands)||Percent change, September 2015-16||Average weekly wage||National ranking by level||Percent change, third quarter 2015-16||National ranking by percent change|
United States (2)
District of Columbia
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, April 25, 2017