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16-581-ATL
Friday, March 18, 2016

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County Employment and Wages in South Carolina – Third Quarter 2015

Employment increased in all seven of South Carolina’s large counties from September 2014 to September 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2014 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment in all seven large South Carolina counties increased at a faster rate than the 1.9-percent rate of job growth for the nation. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.9 percent from September 2014 to September 2015 as 312 of the 342 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Williamson, Tenn., recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.5 percent over the year. Ector, Texas, registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 8.3 percent.

Among the seven largest counties in South Carolina, employment was highest in Greenville County (257,700) in September 2015. Two other counties, Charleston and Richland, had employment levels above 200,000. Together, the seven largest South Carolina counties accounted for 58.9 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 342 largest counties made up 72.2 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 140.4 million in September 2015.

From the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, Charleston County recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages among the large counties in South Carolina, registering a gain of 4.1 percent. (See table 1.) Charleston County also recorded the highest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties at $873 per week, followed by Greenville County at $859. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 2.6 percent over the year, growing to $974 in the third quarter of 2015.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 39 counties in South Carolina with employment levels below 75,000. With the exception of Fairfield County ($1,168), wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in September 2015. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Average weekly wages increased in each of the seven largest counties in South Carolina from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. The wage gains in three of the state’s large counties placed in the top half of the national ranking–Charleston (4.1 percent, 37th), Horry (3.6 percent, 64th), and Spartanburg (2.8 percent, 138th). The state’s remaining four large counties recorded wage increases ranging from 2.4 to 0.5 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 319 of the 342 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest wage gain, up 24.9 percent from the third quarter of 2014. Lake, Ill., was second with a wage increase of 11.7 percent, followed by the counties of Onondaga, N.Y. (6.5 percent), Washington, Ore. (6.4 percent), and Marin, Calif., and Santa Cruz, Calif. (6.1 percent each).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 20 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Midland, Texas, had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 6.7 percent. Ector, Texas, had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 4.9 percent from the third quarter of 2014, followed by Lafayette, La. (-3.2 percent), Stark, Ohio (-2.1 percent), and Gregg, Texas (-1.5 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Charleston and Greenville Counties, with average weekly wages of $873 and $859, respectively, placed in the middle third of the national ranking among the 342 largest U.S. counties in the third quarter of 2015. Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s five other large counties placed in the bottom third of the national ranking. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 100 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $974 in the third quarter of 2015. Santa Clara, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,090. San Mateo, Calif., was second at $1,894, followed by New York, N.Y. ($1,829), San Francisco, Calif. ($1,712) and Washington, D.C. ($1,667).

Seventy-one percent of the largest U.S. counties (242) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($598), followed by the counties of Cameron, Texas ($615), Hidalgo, Texas ($624), Marion, Fla. and Webb, Texas ($658 each).

Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s smaller counties

Among the 39 smaller counties in South Carolina, those with employment below 75,000, Fairfield ($1,168) was the only county to report an average weekly wage above the $974 national average. Dillon County reported the lowest weekly wage among all the counties in the state, averaging $572 in the third quarter of 2015. (See table 2.)

When all 46 counties in South Carolina were considered, 6 had wages below $600, 27 had wages from $600-$749, 12 reported wages from $750-$899, and 1 reported average weekly wages above $900. (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 2014 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 2015 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2014 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn14.htm. The 2015 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2016.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2015 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.


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 9.6 million employer reports cover 140.4 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.

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 7 largest counties in South Carolina, third quarter 2015
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2015 (thousands)Percent change, September 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2014-15 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

140,442.21.9--$974--2.6--

South Carolina

1,959.72.9--788442.622

Charleston, S.C.

235.93.4668731944.137

Greenville, S.C.

257.73.5588592042.4178

Horry, S.C.

121.13.0955983423.664

Lexington, S.C.

112.84.1257413212.1215

Richland, S.C.

214.12.11458332382.3193

Spartanburg, S.C.

128.13.0958142602.8138

York, S.C.

84.94.1257633110.5315

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 South Carolina, third quarter 2015
AreaEmployment September 2015Average weekly wage (1)

United States (2)

140,442,224$974

South Carolina

1,959,741788

Abbeville

5,525654

Aiken

57,623899

Allendale

2,652749

Anderson

63,378696

Bamberg

3,957600

Barnwell

5,094603

Beaufort

62,542673

Berkeley

45,642872

Calhoun

4,594780

Charleston

235,923873

Cherokee

19,098660

Chester

8,323763

Chesterfield

14,591677

Clarendon

7,058574

Colleton

10,547584

Darlington

19,813783

Dillon

8,423572

Dorchester

32,003670

Edgefield

5,698716

Fairfield

10,5011,168

Florence

62,076717

Georgetown

23,189698

Greenville

257,691859

Greenwood

28,440716

Hampton

4,521693

Horry

121,055598

Jasper

8,217687

Kershaw

18,239710

Lancaster

21,818813

Laurens

21,937725

Lee

3,334654

Lexington

112,808741

McCormick

1,668612

Marion

6,535598

Marlboro

6,839742

Newberry

14,138687

Oconee

23,429852

Orangeburg

28,380678

Pickens

34,371708

Richland

214,109833

Saluda

4,579578

Spartanburg

128,116814

Sumter

36,694658

Union

7,568633

Williamsburg

9,540680

York

84,904763

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, third quarter 2015
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2015 (thousands)Percent change, September 2014-15Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2014-15National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

140,442.21.9$974--2.6--

Alabama

1,893.61.2830341.840

Alaska

346.40.41,04192.234

Arizona

2,613.92.9889241.542

Arkansas

1,193.41.9756482.622

California

16,474.43.01,13453.46

Colorado

2,513.02.91,006122.430

Connecticut

1,668.30.21,14742.038

Delaware

436.32.1963150.348

District of Columbia

743.61.41,66712.333

Florida

8,023.23.5852313.110

Georgia

4,171.12.8916222.819

Hawaii

635.41.4896233.110

Idaho

680.33.3736502.137

Illinois

5,888.61.31,020103.93

Indiana

2,971.71.6818392.430

Iowa

1,535.90.4823383.014

Kansas

1,370.90.6809411.840

Kentucky

1,852.51.4804422.918

Louisiana

1,926.3-0.2858300.747

Maine

609.70.7779463.37

Maryland

2,607.81.31,06782.430

Massachusetts

3,446.91.41,19723.014

Michigan

4,203.01.6921202.720

Minnesota

2,800.71.4990142.622

Mississippi

1,118.91.2706511.343

Missouri

2,737.91.9846322.234

Montana

457.91.9759473.74

Nebraska

964.01.4811404.22

Nevada

1,254.53.2862292.527

New Hampshire

642.81.5952182.720

New Jersey

3,933.91.41,11662.622

New Mexico

809.20.6798431.343

New York

9,065.41.81,18033.110

North Carolina

4,194.12.5863283.014

North Dakota

438.0-3.895617-2.351

Ohio

5,282.71.2878251.939

Oklahoma

1,598.00.2825370.049

Oregon

1,812.83.0924194.41

Pennsylvania

5,722.10.8961162.527

Rhode Island

477.41.2919212.622

South Carolina

1,959.72.9788442.622

South Dakota

419.50.9756483.110

Tennessee

2,850.62.7864273.28

Texas

11,681.02.1999131.145

Utah

1,353.93.7829353.28

Vermont

308.20.5829353.014

Virginia

3,759.72.51,014112.527

Washington

3,187.62.51,11172.234

West Virginia

702.4-1.1785450.946

Wisconsin

2,815.70.9834333.55

Wyoming

287.4-1.586626-1.150

Puerto Rico

891.1-0.7512(3)1.4(3)

Virgin Islands

36.8-2.1738(3)2.1(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: Friday, March 18, 2016