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News Release Information

20-446-ATL
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Technical information:
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County Employment and Wages in South Carolina – Third Quarter 2019

Employment increased in each of South Carolina’s seven large counties from September 2018 to September 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 Janet S. Rankin noted that York County’s employment increased 4.4 percent over the year, the fourth-largest employment gain among the 355 largest U.S. counties. During this same period, employment increases in South Carolina’s other six large counties ranged from 3.2 percent to 1.3 percent. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment increased 1.1 percent over the year with 283 of the 355 largest U.S. counties reporting increases. New Hanover, NC, had the largest percentage increase in the country, up 5.8 percent over the year. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the seven largest counties in South Carolina, employment was highest in Greenville County (279,000) in September 2019. Two other counties, Charleston (258,900) and Richland (225,600), had employment levels above 200,000. Together, South Carolina’s large counties accounted for 59.5 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.4 percent of total U.S. employment.

All seven large counties in South Carolina reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. Lexington County had the highest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages, up 5.1 percent. Charleston County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s large counties at $965. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 3.6 percent from a year ago to $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019.

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 $969 to $563. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

In the third quarter of 2019, average weekly wage gains in three of South Carolina’s large counties placed in the top 100 of the national ranking—Lexington (5.1 percent, 31st); Charleston (4.8 percent, 47th); and Horry (4.3 percent, 85th).

Nationally, 350 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year wage increases. Boulder, CO, had the largest third quarter over-the-year wage gain at 18.4 percent. The remaining five large counties registered wage declines during the period. Linn, IA, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-2.6 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Each of South Carolina’s seven large counties had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,093 in the third quarter of 2019. Charleston County, with an average weekly wage of $965, placed in the middle third of the national ranking among the 355 largest U.S. counties. Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s six other large counties placed in the bottom third of the national ranking.

Nationally, 98 large counties reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2019. Santa Clara, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,447. Average weekly wages were below the national average in 257 counties. At $659 a week, Cameron, TX, had the lowest average weekly wage.

Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s smaller counties

All 39 smaller counties in South Carolina—those with employment below 75,000—had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,093. Among these smaller counties, Berkeley had the highest average weekly wage at $969. Clarendon County had the lowest average wage in the state at $563 per week.

When all 46 counties in South Carolina were considered, 10 had wages at or below $699, 20 had wages from $700-$799, 9 had wages from $800-$899, and 7 had wages at or 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 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 fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.


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 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 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, third quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

148,556.51.1--$1,093--3.6--

South Carolina

2,132.42.2--866463.721

Charleston

258.93.0259651954.847

Greenville

279.01.7939102612.1292

Horry

135.23.2176603544.385

Lexington

122.02.7378413235.131

Richland

225.61.31329232433.5168

Spartanburg

147.02.7378892872.9238

York

100.64.448762983.8132

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 2019
AreaEmployment September 2019Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

148,556,525$1,093

South Carolina

2,132,383$866

Abbeville

5,415$781

Aiken

61,805$959

Allendale

2,697$813

Anderson

66,796$789

Bamberg

3,644$652

Barnwell

5,368$680

Beaufort

68,809$747

Berkeley

55,555$969

Calhoun

4,766$815

Charleston

258,859$965

Cherokee

21,159$695

Chester

9,897$823

Chesterfield

15,129$741

Clarendon

6,968$563

Colleton

10,743$677

Darlington

20,644$864

Dillon

9,294$647

Dorchester

36,256$746

Edgefield

5,627$766

Fairfield

5,422$924

Florence

66,355$756

Georgetown

24,498$776

Greenville

278,994$910

Greenwood

28,842$786

Hampton

4,690$739

Horry

135,157$660

Jasper

9,976$725

Kershaw

17,785$707

Lancaster

26,013$926

Laurens

21,000$778

Lee

3,730$708

Lexington

122,020$841

McCormick

1,701$678

Marion

6,975$596

Marlboro

6,942$755

Newberry

14,485$749

Oconee

24,656$839

Orangeburg

28,647$752

Pickens

37,659$817

Richland

225,601$923

Saluda

4,829$645

Spartanburg

147,009$889

Sumter

37,427$762

Union

8,233$764

Williamsburg

8,933$736

York

100,604$876

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 2019
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2019 (thousands)Percent change, September 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, third quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

148,556.51.1$1,093--3.6--

Alabama

1,989.51.1919363.818

Alaska

338.01.21,105143.721

Arizona

2,913.42.61,018224.54

Arkansas

1,222.80.0841493.818

California

17,713.11.41,30953.818

Colorado

2,749.02.41,17086.11

Connecticut

1,676.6-0.31,23662.350

Delaware

453.21.11,078153.332

District of Columbia

776.40.61,85112.549

Florida

8,838.21.7955293.427

Georgia

4,509.71.41,026203.427

Hawaii

654.1-0.31,012233.915

Idaho

765.22.9838504.110

Illinois

6,023.10.01,125103.623

Indiana

3,083.50.3914373.526

Iowa

1,556.90.1914373.039

Kansas

1,395.90.4893432.943

Kentucky

1,910.80.7884453.427

Louisiana

1,913.5-0.3923352.647

Maine

632.60.9887444.27

Maryland

2,696.90.21,16993.623

Massachusetts

3,642.50.91,35924.27

Michigan

4,375.80.21,021213.039

Minnesota

2,917.80.41,107133.039

Mississippi

1,135.80.1768512.746

Missouri

2,826.50.6942313.915

Montana

478.91.2848483.915

Nebraska

984.70.3908394.013

Nevada

1,412.22.1973264.110

New Hampshire

667.90.81,075163.427

New Jersey

4,104.00.91,21773.039

New Mexico

842.11.7899405.12

New York

9,575.41.11,31443.332

North Carolina

4,501.32.2972273.623

North Dakota

428.40.91,028193.332

Ohio

5,443.30.3976253.137

Oklahoma

1,628.80.5897412.647

Oregon

1,970.71.41,037183.235

Pennsylvania

5,947.90.81,064173.235

Rhode Island

491.30.6991242.844

South Carolina

2,132.42.2866463.721

South Dakota

433.40.4855473.427

Tennessee

3,060.81.9966282.844

Texas

12,603.22.11,109124.110

Utah

1,535.22.8954304.83

Vermont

311.00.0927344.35

Virginia

3,931.41.01,125104.013

Washington

3,489.82.11,33534.35

West Virginia

694.4-1.8897410.351

Wisconsin

2,893.80.1929333.137

Wyoming

283.11.5942314.27

Puerto Rico

878.91.9528(3)-0.8(3)

Virgin Islands

37.89.61,012(3)12.8(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: Wednesday, March 18, 2020