Friday, July 31, 2020
Maine’s only large county, Cumberland, reported an employment gain of 1.1 percent from December 2018 to December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that Cumberland’s employment gain ranked 160th among the 355 large U.S. counties.
Nationally, employment increased 1.2 percent over the year with 285 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. Cleveland, OK, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 4.2 percent.
Employment in Cumberland County stood at 188,774 in December 2019 and accounted for 30.4 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.7 percent of total U.S. employment.
The average weekly wage in Cumberland County increased 5.4 percent to $1,088 from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019. ((See table 1.) Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.5 percent from a year ago to $1,185 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 15 counties in Maine with employment below 75,000. All of these smaller counties had average weekly wages below the national average. (See table 2.)
Large County Wage Changes
The 5.4-percent wage increase in Cumberland County ranked 29th among the 355 largest U.S. counties. Nationally, 341 large U.S. counties had over-the-year wage increases. Santa Cruz, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (20.7 percent). The remaining 14 large U.S. counties had wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-7.1 percent).
Large County Average Weekly Wages
Cumberland County’s average weekly wage of $1,088 was below the U.S. average ($1,185) and ranked 163rd among the 355 large U.S. counties in the fourth quarter of 2019. Nationally, 93 large counties reported average weekly wages at or above the U.S. average in the fourth quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,825. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 262 large counties. At $701 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.
Average Weekly Wages in Maine’s Smaller Counties
All 15 counties in Maine with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages lower than the national average of $1,185. Sagadahoc reported the highest average weekly wage among the small counties in the state at $976 per week. Piscataquis ($740) and Franklin ($752) reported the lowest weekly wages.
When all 16 counties in Maine were considered, all had weekly wages that were lower than the national average. One had wages of $749 or lower, nine had wages from $750 to $849, three had wages from $850 to $949 and three had wages of $950 or more. The highest-paid counties were located in the southwest portion of the state and composing the Portland Metropolitan Area.
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 2018 edition of this publication, which was published in September 2019, contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of this news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are now available at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm. The 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2020.
The County Employment and Wages release for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for first quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
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.
|Area||Employment||Average weekly wage (1)|
|December 2019 (thousands)||Percent change, December 2018-19 (2)||National ranking by percent change (3)||Average weekly wage||National ranking by level (3)||Percent change, fourth quarter 2018-19 (2)||National ranking by percent change (3)|
United States (4)
Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
|Area||Employment December 2019||Average weekly wage(1)|
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)|
|December 2019 (thousands)||Percent change, December 2018-19||Average weekly wage||National ranking by level||Percent change, fourth quarter 2018-19||National ranking by percent change|
United States (2)
District of Columbia
Note: Data are preliminary. Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.
Last Modified Date: Friday, July 31, 2020