Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Employment in Puerto Rico’s only large county, the municipio of San Juan, decreased 7.3 percent from September 2019 to September 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2019 annual average employment of 75,000 or more.) Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that in September 2020, San Juan’s employment level of 223,600 accounted for 26.9 percent of total employment in the commonwealth. (See table 1.)
National employment decreased 6.8 percent over the year, with 355 of the 357 largest U.S. counties (not including San Juan) 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.
The average weekly wage in San Juan was $669 in the third quarter of 2020, a 4.7-percent increase over the year. In the United States, the average weekly wage increased 7.4 percent to $1,173. 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 featured significant wage increases. San Mateo, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+23.2 percent). Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-11.0 percent).
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 municipios had wages below the U.S. average of $1,173. (See table 2.) Juncos, located on the eastern part of the island, had the highest average weekly wage at $912. Two small municipios, located in the northern part of the island, had average weekly wages above $600—Guaynabo ($678) and Aguadilla ($611). Twenty-six municipios had average weekly wages below $400, with the lowest wages reported in Cabo Rojo ($326), Moca ($311), and Las Marías ($295). (See chart 1.)
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, which was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now 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.
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.
third quarter 2020
|Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
September 2019–20 (2)
third quarter 2019–20 (2)
United States (3)
|Area||Employment September 2020||Average weekly wage(1)|
Note: Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.
third quarter 2020
|Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
third quarter 2019–20
by percent change
United States (2)
District of Columbia
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, May 05, 2021