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21-502-ATL
Friday, March 19, 2021

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County Employment and Wages in South Carolina – Third Quarter 2020

Employment declined in all of South Carolina’s seven largest counties from September 2019 to September 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2019.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment decreases ranged from 9.0 percent in Horry County to 2.7 percent in Lexington County. (See chart 1 and table 1.)


National employment decreased 6.8 percent over the year, with 355 of the 357 largest U.S. counties 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.

Among the seven largest counties in South Carolina, employment was highest in Greenville County (265,200) in September 2020. Within Greenville County’s private industry, administrative and waste services accounted for the largest employment. Together, the seven largest South Carolina counties accounted for 59.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 357 largest counties made up 72.9 percent of total U.S. employment.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 39 counties in South Carolina with employment below 75,000. Wage levels in all 39 smaller counties were below the national average in the third quarter of 2020. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

All seven large South Carolina counties reported average weekly wage gains from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020. (See chart 2.) Three counties had rates of wage gains that were above the national rate of 7.4 percent. Horry County had the largest gain (+8.9 percent), followed by Charleston County (+8.5 percent) and York County (+8.1 percent). Over-the-year wage gains among South Carolina’s other four large counties ranged from 6.4 percent to 4.5 percent.


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 feature significant wage increases. San Mateo, CA, had the largest percentage wage increase (+23.2 percent). Seven large counties had wage declines during the period. Ector, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease (-11.0 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in all seven of South Carolina’s largest counties were below the national average of $1,173 in the third quarter of 2020. Average weekly wages in South Carolina’s large counties ranged from $1,047 in Charleston County to $721 in Horry County.

Among the largest U.S. counties, 96 reported average weekly wages above the U.S. average in the third quarter of 2020. San Mateo, CA, had the highest average weekly wage at $2,922. Average weekly wages were at or below the national average in 261 counties. At $697 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 $1,173. Among these smaller counties, Berkeley had the highest average weekly wage at $1,015. Clarendon County ($608) reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state.

When all 46 counties in South Carolina were considered, 6 reported average weekly wages of less than $700, 17 registered wages from $700 to $799, 14 had wages from $800 to $899, and 9 had average weekly wages of $900 or higher. (See chart 3.)

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 2019 edition of this publication was published in September 2020. Tables and additional content from the 2019 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online are 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 at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The County Employment and Wages full data update for fourth quarter 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


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 individuals with sensory impairments 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 seven largest counties in South Carolina, third quarter 2020
AreaEstablishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level (3)
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20 (2)
National ranking
by percent change (3)

United States (4)

10,561.3138,549.5-6.8--$1,173--7.4--

South Carolina

146.62,022.9-5.2--924446.723

Charleston

17.9239.2-7.72261,0471898.595

Greenville

16.1265.2-4.2649692586.4227

Horry

10.2123.9-9.02877213558.980

Lexington

7.4118.3-2.7298873275.3282

Richland

11.1210.9-5.61279712555.8259

Spartanburg

7.0144.6-4.3689293014.5309

York

6.997.2-3.5449522738.1125

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 2020
AreaEmployment September 2020Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503$1,173

South Carolina

2,022,853924

Abbeville

5,232786

Aiken

58,2221,010

Allendale

2,569846

Anderson

64,269838

Bamberg

3,291724

Barnwell

4,848685

Beaufort

64,404821

Berkeley

54,3801,015

Calhoun

4,563872

Charleston

239,1981,047

Cherokee

19,643743

Chester

9,466823

Chesterfield

14,167767

Clarendon

6,629608

Colleton

10,131704

Darlington

19,501892

Dillon

9,113653

Dorchester

34,327795

Edgefield

5,115787

Fairfield

5,278959

Florence

63,477803

Georgetown

23,754815

Greenville

265,180969

Greenwood

27,741826

Hampton

4,412764

Horry

123,856721

Jasper

9,594789

Kershaw

16,846763

Lancaster

25,291977

Laurens

19,986823

Lee

3,773732

Lexington

118,250887

McCormick

1,558687

Marion

7,186651

Marlboro

6,558786

Newberry

14,313762

Oconee

23,559868

Orangeburg

26,925803

Pickens

35,103895

Richland

210,869971

Saluda

4,862683

Spartanburg

144,554929

Sumter

34,936794

Union

7,498795

Williamsburg

8,371770

York

97,165952

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 2020
StateEstablishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
EmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
September 2020
(thousands)
Percent change,
September 2019–20
Third quarter
2020
National ranking
by level
Percent change,
third quarter 2019–20
National ranking
by percent change

United States (2)

10,561.3138,549.5-6.8$1,173--7.4--

Alabama

132.21,902.4-4.5978336.427

Alaska

22.9302.6-10.71,165145.442

Arizona

174.12,797.1-4.21,091227.317

Arkansas

93.61,180.1-3.4892496.131

California

1,643.816,096.8-9.21,466412.01

Colorado

220.12,597.2-5.61,23595.638

Connecticut

125.41,555.6-7.31,32877.415

Delaware

34.9428.8-5.61,150156.821

District of Columbia

43.3713.7-8.11,96216.131

Florida

749.18,329.7-5.81,029278.011

Georgia

313.04,282.1-5.21,084235.835

Hawaii

46.5507.5-22.91,1141810.34

Idaho

70.7763.7-0.2884505.541

Illinois

385.95,558.5-7.81,199116.821

Indiana

172.42,941.8-4.7961395.343

Iowa

105.11,475.0-5.2969366.034

Kansas

89.21,325.4-5.0952406.624

Kentucky

128.01,807.1-5.5935435.835

Louisiana

139.51,734.6-9.6970355.245

Maine

54.4597.3-5.9966379.09

Maryland

172.42,496.6-7.61,27789.57

Massachusetts

265.13,314.8-9.41,48829.76

Michigan

266.94,035.9-7.91,096207.514

Minnesota

183.12,703.3-7.41,178126.427

Mississippi

74.91,092.4-4.0810515.638

Missouri

218.82,681.7-5.1995325.638

Montana

53.0466.9-2.5904486.624

Nebraska

73.7949.9-3.8964386.427

Nevada

87.91,251.0-11.61,048247.813

New Hampshire

56.1634.2-5.21,171138.910

New Jersey

289.33,778.4-8.01,33169.57

New Mexico

63.1771.9-8.6944415.146

New York

657.68,547.7-10.81,446510.05

North Carolina

301.44,308.2-4.41,039266.920

North Dakota

32.5398.2-7.01,02528-0.350

Ohio

305.75,136.8-5.61,040256.624

Oklahoma

112.41,538.5-5.7917462.348

Oregon

164.61,837.3-7.01,113197.415

Pennsylvania

366.55,501.0-7.61,139177.019

Rhode Island

40.1452.5-8.01,0922110.43

South Carolina

146.62,022.9-5.2924446.723

South Dakota

35.2422.3-2.6918457.218

Tennessee

173.62,918.1-4.61,022295.835

Texas

733.111,926.8-5.51,150153.847

Utah

114.31,518.2-1.01,015306.131

Vermont

26.4283.9-8.61,001317.912

Virginia

285.73,737.0-5.01,201106.427

Washington

256.63,266.2-6.31,482311.02

West Virginia

51.7649.1-6.7913471.849

Wisconsin

181.22,746.6-5.2977345.343

Wyoming

27.5264.0-6.893942-0.451

Puerto Rico

45.7831.6-5.3547(3)3.4(3)

Virgin Islands

3.433.9-13.01,019(3)-0.5(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 19, 2021