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News Release Information

17-356-ATL
Thursday, March 23, 2017

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  • (404) 893-4220

County Employment and Wages in South Carolina – Third Quarter 2016

Employment increased in all seven of South Carolina’s large counties from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are defined as those with 2015 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that the percent increase in employment for each of South Carolina’s large counties was greater than the 1.7-percent rate of job growth for the nation. (See table 1.)

From September 2015 to September 2016, employment increased in 307 of the 344 largest U.S. counties. York, S.C., recorded the largest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. Midland, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the large U.S. counties, down 5.8 percent.

Among the seven largest counties in South Carolina, employment was highest in Greenville County (262,200) in September 2016. Two other counties, Charleston and Richland, had employment levels above 200,000. Together, South Carolina’s large counties accounted for 59.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 344 largest counties made up 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 142.9 million in September 2016.

From the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, York County recorded the largest increase in average weekly wages among the large counties in South Carolina, up 8.2 percent. (See table 1.) Charleston County recorded the highest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties at $916, followed by Greenville County at $898. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 5.4 percent over the year to $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016.

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. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,344 to $578. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

As noted, average weekly wages increased in each of the seven largest counties in South Carolina from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. The wage gains in two of the state’s large counties placed in the top 50 among the nation’s 344 largest counties—York (8.2 percent, 23rd) and Lexington (7.3 percent, 47th). The state’s remaining five large counties had wage increases ranging from 6.0 to 4.3 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 339 of the 344 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Clark, Nev., had the largest wage gain, up 12.2 percent from the third quarter of 2015. Manatee, Fla., was second with a wage increase of 10.7 percent, followed by the counties of Hillsborough, N.H. (10.4 percent); Boone, Ky. and Elkhart, Ind. (10.3 percent each); and McLean, Ill. (10.2 percent).

Among the largest U.S. counties, five experienced over-the-year decreases in average weekly wages. Rockland, N.Y., had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-14.9 percent), followed by Lafayette, La. (-3.4 percent); Benton, Ark. (-2.0 percent); Lake, Ill. (-0.9 percent); and Midland, Texas (-0.3 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Charleston and Greenville Counties, with average weekly wages of $916 and $898, respectively, placed in the middle third of the national ranking among the 344 largest U.S. counties in the third quarter of 2016. Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s five other large counties placed in the bottom third of the national ranking. (See table 1.)

Nationally, 102 large counties had average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,027 in the third quarter of 2016. Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest average weekly wage at $2,260, followed by San Mateo, Calif. ($2,098); San Francisco, Calif. ($1,892); New York, N.Y. ($1,879); and Washington, D.C. ($1,728).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 241 had weekly wages below the national average in the third quarter of 2016. Horry, S.C., had the lowest wage ($632), followed by Cameron, Texas ($636); Hidalgo, Texas ($654); Webb, Texas ($680); and Osceola, Fla. ($707).

Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s smaller counties

Among the 39 smaller counties in South Carolina with employment below 75,000, Fairfield ($1,334) was the only county with an average weekly wage above the $1,027 national average. Clarendon County had the lowest weekly wage among all the counties in the state, averaging $578 in the third quarter of 2016. (See table 2.)

When all 46 counties in South Carolina were considered, 13 had wages of $699 or below, 21 had wages from $700-$799, 8 had wages from $800-$899, and 4 had 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 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 2015 are now available online at https://www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn15.htm. The 2016 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2017.

The County Employment and Wages release for fourth quarter 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.


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 9.8 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.

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 2016
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2015-16 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

142,940.51.7--$1,027--5.4--

South Carolina

2,008.62.5--832435.623

Charleston, S.C.

243.73.7349161984.4262

Greenville, S.C.

262.21.91538982174.3269

Horry, S.C.

124.73.1586323445.5177

Lexington, S.C.

115.72.01427913197.347

Richland, S.C.

219.02.01428852316.0130

Spartanburg, S.C.

133.03.7348612605.9139

York, S.C.

89.86.018302908.223

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, 3rd quarter 2016
AreaEmployment September 2016Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

142,940,452$1,027

South Carolina

2,008,603832

Abbeville

5,486700

Aiken

59,104945

Allendale

2,651785

Anderson

64,636732

Bamberg

3,977626

Barnwell

5,062644

Beaufort

63,673732

Berkeley

48,621921

Calhoun

4,709833

Charleston

243,667916

Cherokee

19,363686

Chester

8,298781

Chesterfield

14,932702

Clarendon

6,742578

Colleton

10,847609

Darlington

20,324821

Dillon

8,672604

Dorchester

33,454683

Edgefield

5,550713

Fairfield

10,7021,334

Florence

62,573736

Georgetown

23,064735

Greenville

262,161898

Greenwood

28,706750

Hampton

4,612722

Horry

124,677632

Jasper

8,626738

Kershaw

18,319755

Lancaster

23,668881

Laurens

22,187746

Lee

3,458715

Lexington

115,657791

McCormick

1,671689

Marion

6,534601

Marlboro

6,688786

Newberry

14,858700

Oconee

23,163859

Orangeburg

28,613701

Pickens

34,828760

Richland

219,033885

Saluda

4,555603

Spartanburg

132,978861

Sumter

36,988710

Union

7,709658

Williamsburg

9,379677

York

89,766830

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 2016
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2016 (thousands)Percent change, September 2015-16Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2015-16National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

142,940.51.7$1,027--5.4--

Alabama

1,923.81.5870364.938

Alaska

337.4-2.61,055121.249

Arizona

2,695.53.1950246.95

Arkansas

1,205.41.0794485.232

California

16,871.12.41,21046.78

Colorado

2,576.52.61,062105.623

Connecticut

1,674.20.31,20455.034

Delaware

440.70.81,022165.623

District of Columbia

759.21.71,72813.845

Florida

8,320.23.7905296.214

Georgia

4,290.42.9969215.918

Hawaii

648.41.8956236.78

Idaho

703.73.5782506.312

Illinois

5,933.60.61,062104.440

Indiana

3,025.91.8866375.918

Iowa

1,548.60.8873356.214

Kansas

1,377.20.5857395.918

Kentucky

1,880.21.5857396.510

Louisiana

1,908.8-0.9883322.948

Maine

616.20.9825455.918

Maryland

2,648.11.41,12485.330

Massachusetts

3,522.92.01,27726.87

Michigan

4,292.22.1976195.918

Minnesota

2,849.51.61,053136.411

Mississippi

1,126.90.7739514.739

Missouri

2,782.11.6888305.034

Montana

464.51.5792494.341

Nebraska

973.90.9857395.526

Nevada

1,300.73.89492510.11

New Hampshire

655.01.81,027157.92

New Jersey

4,000.01.81,17375.034

New Mexico

811.50.2830444.043

New York

9,216.61.61,22233.546

North Carolina

4,290.32.3909285.330

North Dakota

423.2-3.4964220.750

Ohio

5,347.31.1924265.427

Oklahoma

1,578.7-1.3854423.546

Oregon

1,866.52.6970205.232

Pennsylvania

5,776.71.01,013175.427

Rhode Island

481.10.8990187.63

South Carolina

2,008.62.5832435.623

South Dakota

424.21.1809477.04

Tennessee

2,918.82.5912275.427

Texas

11,830.71.31,042144.341

Utah

1,407.43.8881336.312

Vermont

309.90.5880346.214

Virginia

3,801.01.01,06395.034

Washington

3,278.93.01,18866.95

West Virginia

691.5-1.6816463.944

Wisconsin

2,850.11.0885316.214

Wyoming

274.8-4.7865380.051

Puerto Rico

888.2-0.4524(3)2.3(3)

Virgin Islands

37.41.4778(3)5.9(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: Thursday, March 23, 2017