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14-1119-DAL
Friday, June 27, 2014

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County Employment and Wages in Arkansas – Fourth Quarter 2013

Employment increased in the three largest Arkansas counties from December 2012 to December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. (Large counties are those with 2012 annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that Benton County had the largest increase, up 2.1 percent, followed by Washington (0.6 percent) and Pulaski (0.1 percent). (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.8 percent from December 2012 to December 2013 as 292 of the 334 largest U.S. counties registered increases. Weld County, Colo., recorded the highest percentage increase in the country, up 6.0 percent over the year. St. Clair, Ill., registered the largest percentage employment decline, down 3.1 percent.

Among the three largest counties in Arkansas, employment was highest in Pulaski County (246,400) in December 2013. Benton and Washington Counties had employment levels of 100,800 and 95,200, respectively. Together, the three largest Arkansas counties accounted for 38.3 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 334 largest counties made up 71.7 percent of total U.S. employment.

From the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, Washington County recorded the fastest rate of increase in average weekly wages among the three large counties in Arkansas, registering a gain of 2.5 percent. (See table 1.) Benton County recorded the highest average weekly wage among these large counties at $913 per week. Nationally, the average weekly wage was unchanged from a year ago at $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 72 counties in Arkansas with employment levels below 75,000. Wage levels in all of these smaller counties were below the national average in December 2013. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

Washington County’s 2.5-percent rise in average weekly wages from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013 ranked 29th among the nation’s 334 largest counties. (See table 1.) Advancing at a slower pace, wages in Benton increased 1.1 percent over the year, ranking 95th. In contrast, Pulaski County recorded a wage decrease of 3.1 percent.

Nationally, 185 of the 334 largest counties registered over-the-year wage increases. Santa Cruz, Calif., had the largest wage gain, up 6.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. Ada, Idaho, was second with a wage increase of 6.4 percent, followed by the counties of Washington, Ore. (5.9 percent), and Union, N.J. (5.2 percent).

Among the large U.S. counties, 140 experienced over-the-year wage decreases. Douglas, Colo., had the largest wage decrease with a loss of 29.7 percent. San Mateo, Calif., had the second largest decrease in average weekly wages, down 15.8 percent from the fourth quarter 2012, followed by Virginia Beach City, Va. (-10.0 percent), McHenry, Ill. (-8.8 percent), and Shawnee, Kan. (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Weekly wages in the state’s three large counties were below the national average of $1,000 per week. However, average weekly wages in two of these counties were high enough to place near the middle of the national ranking. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Benton County's average wage ($913) ranked 161st and Pulaski County ($899) ranked 178th. In contrast, at $857 per week, wages in Washington County placed in the bottom third among large U.S. counties, ranking 223rd overall.

Nationally, 98 large counties registered average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. San Mateo, Calif., held the top position among the highest-paid large counties with an average weekly wage of $2,724. New York, N.Y., was second at $2,041, followed by Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,972).

Seventy percent of the largest U.S. counties (235) reported weekly wages below the national average. Horry County, S.C., reported the lowest wage ($587), followed by the Texas counties of Cameron ($598) and Hidalgo ($620). Wages in these lowest-ranked counties were less than a quarter of the average weekly wage reported for the highest-ranked county, San Mateo, Calif.

Average weekly wages in Arkansas's smaller counties

All 72 of Arkansas’s smaller counties – those with employment below 75,000 – reported weekly wages below the national average of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Among these counties, Calhoun ($916) and Union ($876) posted the highest weekly wages, while Newton reported the lowest average weekly wage in the state ($472). (See table 2.)

When all 75 counties in Arkansas were considered, 8 reported average weekly wages under $550, 37 reported wages from $550 to $649, 18 had wages from $650 to $749, 7 had wages from $750 to $849, and 5 averaged $850 or more per week. (See chart 1.) The higher-paying counties were located around the metropolitan areas of Fayetteville and Little Rock, and along the southern border of the state.

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 2012 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 2013 version of the news release. Tables and additional content from Employment and Wages Annual Averages 2012 are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/cewbultn12.htm. The 2013 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online will be available in September 2014.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.


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 9.3 million employer reports covered 136.1 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 (see Technical Note below) 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.


 

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 3 largest counties in Arkansas, fourth quarter 2013
AreaEmploymentAverage Weekly Wage (1)
December
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2012-13 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level (3)
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2012-13 (2)
National
ranking by
percent change (3)

United States (4)

136,129.41.8--$1,000--0.0--

Arkansas

1,154.3-0.5--771470.422

Benton, Ark.

100.82.11189131611.195

Pulaski, Ark.

246.40.1290899178-3.1323

Washington, Ark.

95.20.62398572232.529

(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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.


Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Arkansas, fourth quarter 2013
AreaEmployment
December
2013
Average
Weekly
Wage (1)

United States (2)

136,129,407$1,000

Arkansas

1,154,299771

Arkansas

10,008754

Ashley

7,264767

Baxter

14,092659

Benton

100,778913

Boone

13,613668

Bradley

3,419597

Calhoun

2,669916

Carroll

9,791537

Chicot

3,329579

Clark

9,391614

Clay

3,623565

Cleburne

6,798597

Cleveland

1,078561

Columbia

8,126742

Conway

6,925696

Craighead

45,733716

Crawford

19,130656

Crittenden

16,696639

Cross

4,999623

Dallas

2,712556

Desha

4,577643

Drew

6,503601

Faulkner

40,528805

Franklin

4,374667

Fulton

1,946541

Garland

35,414655

Grant

3,855669

Greene

14,829670

Hempstead

7,858626

Hot Spring

8,497640

Howard

7,195557

Independence

14,517676

Izard

3,110578

Jackson

5,167660

Jefferson

28,549749

Johnson

8,334566

Lafayette

1,266655

Lawrence

4,186561

Lee

1,976637

Lincoln

2,972643

Little River

3,888783

Logan

5,514613

Lonoke

13,472627

Madison

3,179566

Marion

3,707554

Miller

12,856712

Mississippi

18,974814

Monroe

2,191578

Montgomery

1,352508

Nevada

2,371582

Newton

1,099472

Ouachita

7,168625

Perry

1,224605

Phillips

5,827602

Pike

2,281553

Poinsett

5,025658

Polk

5,938556

Pope

26,527683

Prairie

1,538638

Pulaski

246,435899

Randolph

4,700518

Saline

21,789637

Scott

3,090554

Searcy

1,598494

Sebastian

64,804771

Sevier

4,845555

Sharp

3,616507

St. Francis

7,880620

Stone

2,442494

Union

17,952876

Van Buren

3,855816

Washington

95,212857

White

24,638687

Woodruff

1,876617

Yell

6,561550

(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: Covered employment and wages 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, fourth quarter 2013
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
December
2013
(thousands)
Percent change,
December
2012-13
Average
weekly
wage
National
ranking by
level
Percent change,
fourth quarter
2012-13
National
ranking by
percent change

United States (2)

136,129.41.8$1,000--0.0--

Alabama

1,866.51.085134-0.539

Alaska

315.10.01,022141.67

Arizona

2,571.02.490623-0.539

Arkansas

1,154.3-0.5771470.422

California

15,650.32.81,1756-0.943

Colorado

2,383.93.11,02313-0.943

Connecticut

1,661.20.31,2384-1.349

Delaware

419.61.81,0359-0.641

District of Columbia

727.30.61,6381-3.951

Florida

7,739.52.7883290.227

Georgia

3,986.92.592421-0.132

Hawaii

632.91.7871300.325

Idaho

634.52.6754503.02

Illinois

5,758.91.01,06080.227

Indiana

2,896.91.681440-0.235

Iowa

1,510.91.4834381.67

Kansas

1,359.51.683239-0.438

Kentucky

1,818.01.2804420.227

Louisiana

1,911.60.9889260.520

Maine

586.80.8786461.75

Maryland

2,555.10.41,0767-0.943

Massachusetts

3,332.91.51,25830.817

Michigan

4,072.42.095220-0.235

Minnesota

2,720.61.7988160.325

Mississippi

1,108.11.1729511.311

Missouri

2,670.41.186132-0.235

Montana

440.01.3760480.422

Nebraska

944.31.479643-0.132

Nevada

1,180.53.0884280.718

New Hampshire

629.31.41,01715-0.842

New Jersey

3,887.51.21,18651.114

New Mexico

796.2-0.1814401.410

New York

8,888.61.71,2662-1.148

North Carolina

4,045.51.9860330.718

North Dakota

435.03.3980173.81

Ohio

5,175.41.4887270.030

Oklahoma

1,581.30.685134-0.132

Oregon

1,699.62.5894252.63

Pennsylvania

5,650.30.4976180.422

Rhode Island

462.71.4960191.59

South Carolina

1,875.82.3793441.015

South Dakota

407.11.3759491.311

Tennessee

2,758.31.889524-0.943

Texas

11,246.32.61,027120.030

Utah

1,284.73.183637-0.943

Vermont

308.50.6848362.34

Virginia

3,670.00.11,02811-1.349

Washington

2,976.02.51,034101.75

West Virginia

710.1-0.6792450.520

Wisconsin

2,751.81.0865311.213

Wyoming

279.20.6917221.015

Puerto Rico

958.3-2.3551(3)0.2(3)

Virgin Islands

38.5-3.6754(3)2.4(3)

(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: Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.

 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, June 27, 2014