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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
Area Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average 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)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 -- $1,173 -- 7.4 --

South Carolina

146.6 2,022.9 -5.2 -- 924 44 6.7 23

Charleston

17.9 239.2 -7.7 226 1,047 189 8.5 95

Greenville

16.1 265.2 -4.2 64 969 258 6.4 227

Horry

10.2 123.9 -9.0 287 721 355 8.9 80

Lexington

7.4 118.3 -2.7 29 887 327 5.3 282

Richland

11.1 210.9 -5.6 127 971 255 5.8 259

Spartanburg

7.0 144.6 -4.3 68 929 301 4.5 309

York

6.9 97.2 -3.5 44 952 273 8.1 125

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
Area Employment September 2020 Average weekly wage(1)

United States(2)

138,549,503 $1,173

South Carolina

2,022,853 924

Abbeville

5,232 786

Aiken

58,222 1,010

Allendale

2,569 846

Anderson

64,269 838

Bamberg

3,291 724

Barnwell

4,848 685

Beaufort

64,404 821

Berkeley

54,380 1,015

Calhoun

4,563 872

Charleston

239,198 1,047

Cherokee

19,643 743

Chester

9,466 823

Chesterfield

14,167 767

Clarendon

6,629 608

Colleton

10,131 704

Darlington

19,501 892

Dillon

9,113 653

Dorchester

34,327 795

Edgefield

5,115 787

Fairfield

5,278 959

Florence

63,477 803

Georgetown

23,754 815

Greenville

265,180 969

Greenwood

27,741 826

Hampton

4,412 764

Horry

123,856 721

Jasper

9,594 789

Kershaw

16,846 763

Lancaster

25,291 977

Laurens

19,986 823

Lee

3,773 732

Lexington

118,250 887

McCormick

1,558 687

Marion

7,186 651

Marlboro

6,558 786

Newberry

14,313 762

Oconee

23,559 868

Orangeburg

26,925 803

Pickens

35,103 895

Richland

210,869 971

Saluda

4,862 683

Spartanburg

144,554 929

Sumter

34,936 794

Union

7,498 795

Williamsburg

8,371 770

York

97,165 952

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
State Establishments,
third quarter 2020
(thousands)
Employment Average 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)

10,561.3 138,549.5 -6.8 $1,173 -- 7.4 --

Alabama

132.2 1,902.4 -4.5 978 33 6.4 27

Alaska

22.9 302.6 -10.7 1,165 14 5.4 42

Arizona

174.1 2,797.1 -4.2 1,091 22 7.3 17

Arkansas

93.6 1,180.1 -3.4 892 49 6.1 31

California

1,643.8 16,096.8 -9.2 1,466 4 12.0 1

Colorado

220.1 2,597.2 -5.6 1,235 9 5.6 38

Connecticut

125.4 1,555.6 -7.3 1,328 7 7.4 15

Delaware

34.9 428.8 -5.6 1,150 15 6.8 21

District of Columbia

43.3 713.7 -8.1 1,962 1 6.1 31

Florida

749.1 8,329.7 -5.8 1,029 27 8.0 11

Georgia

313.0 4,282.1 -5.2 1,084 23 5.8 35

Hawaii

46.5 507.5 -22.9 1,114 18 10.3 4

Idaho

70.7 763.7 -0.2 884 50 5.5 41

Illinois

385.9 5,558.5 -7.8 1,199 11 6.8 21

Indiana

172.4 2,941.8 -4.7 961 39 5.3 43

Iowa

105.1 1,475.0 -5.2 969 36 6.0 34

Kansas

89.2 1,325.4 -5.0 952 40 6.6 24

Kentucky

128.0 1,807.1 -5.5 935 43 5.8 35

Louisiana

139.5 1,734.6 -9.6 970 35 5.2 45

Maine

54.4 597.3 -5.9 966 37 9.0 9

Maryland

172.4 2,496.6 -7.6 1,277 8 9.5 7

Massachusetts

265.1 3,314.8 -9.4 1,488 2 9.7 6

Michigan

266.9 4,035.9 -7.9 1,096 20 7.5 14

Minnesota

183.1 2,703.3 -7.4 1,178 12 6.4 27

Mississippi

74.9 1,092.4 -4.0 810 51 5.6 38

Missouri

218.8 2,681.7 -5.1 995 32 5.6 38

Montana

53.0 466.9 -2.5 904 48 6.6 24

Nebraska

73.7 949.9 -3.8 964 38 6.4 27

Nevada

87.9 1,251.0 -11.6 1,048 24 7.8 13

New Hampshire

56.1 634.2 -5.2 1,171 13 8.9 10

New Jersey

289.3 3,778.4 -8.0 1,331 6 9.5 7

New Mexico

63.1 771.9 -8.6 944 41 5.1 46

New York

657.6 8,547.7 -10.8 1,446 5 10.0 5

North Carolina

301.4 4,308.2 -4.4 1,039 26 6.9 20

North Dakota

32.5 398.2 -7.0 1,025 28 -0.3 50

Ohio

305.7 5,136.8 -5.6 1,040 25 6.6 24

Oklahoma

112.4 1,538.5 -5.7 917 46 2.3 48

Oregon

164.6 1,837.3 -7.0 1,113 19 7.4 15

Pennsylvania

366.5 5,501.0 -7.6 1,139 17 7.0 19

Rhode Island

40.1 452.5 -8.0 1,092 21 10.4 3

South Carolina

146.6 2,022.9 -5.2 924 44 6.7 23

South Dakota

35.2 422.3 -2.6 918 45 7.2 18

Tennessee

173.6 2,918.1 -4.6 1,022 29 5.8 35

Texas

733.1 11,926.8 -5.5 1,150 15 3.8 47

Utah

114.3 1,518.2 -1.0 1,015 30 6.1 31

Vermont

26.4 283.9 -8.6 1,001 31 7.9 12

Virginia

285.7 3,737.0 -5.0 1,201 10 6.4 27

Washington

256.6 3,266.2 -6.3 1,482 3 11.0 2

West Virginia

51.7 649.1 -6.7 913 47 1.8 49

Wisconsin

181.2 2,746.6 -5.2 977 34 5.3 43

Wyoming

27.5 264.0 -6.8 939 42 -0.4 51

Puerto Rico

45.7 831.6 -5.3 547 (3) 3.4 (3)

Virgin Islands

3.4 33.9 -13.0 1,019 (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